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2017 AAR Presidential Address: A Liberal Arts Education in the Age of Trump

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We live in turbulent times. And it seems everywhere we turn, “religion” is front and center, often nested with the circumstances of the most vulnerable among us or serving to make otherwise safe people extremely vulnerable. Religion can mark people as Other and make them susceptible to unimaginable violence. Vulnerability, as I am using the word here, registers a susceptibility to the arbitrary use of power: that some among us, because of the color of their skin, their gender, the place of their birth, or the religion they espouse (all of which are overdetermined by histories that situate them in one way as opposed to another in relation to power) are subject, more so than others, to domination. Vulnerability calls our attention to what is always, in an instant, on the horizon. It functions as a kind of preface or prelude to what is immediately possible (because it is already in practice) and instantiates a deep-seated fear and readiness in the individual for irruptions that can do. . .

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News source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion Current Issue

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