Religious Studies

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Professor Jeremy Carrette

Professor of Religion and Culture and Head of Department

 

Office: CGAN08

About

My research examines interdisciplinary aspects of the study of religion and culture and focuses on questions of epistemology, power and the politics of knowledge. There are three main areas to my current work, covering my interests in religion, philosophy, politics and the history of ideas. First, I am completing two books on William James. Secondly, I am working on a long-term research project, started during my 2007 sabbatical on religion and globalization in relation to international institutions, with particular focus on Quakers and international relations. This has led to the development of an AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society research project, with Professor Hugh Miall (Department of International Relations and Politics, University of Kent) and a team of international researchers, to examine the nature and effectiveness of religious non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations. Thirdly, my work involves interdisciplinary links with projects in the Humanities at Kent on Cultural Memory and work in our departmental Centre for Religion in Contemporary Society.

I am on the editorial board of Foucault Studies and a member of the advisory board of the Foucault Society. I have also appeared on Radio 4 and BBC television discussing issues related to capitalism and religion, and spirituality and advertising.

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Books

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2013) William James's Hidden Religious Imagination: A Universe of Relations. Routledge, London, UK, 236 pp. ISBN 9780415828635.

    Abstract

    This book offers a radical new reading of William James’s work on the idea of ‘religion.’ Moving beyond previous psychological and philosophical interpretations, it uncovers a dynamic, imaginative, and critical use of the category of religion. This work argues that we can only fully understand James’s work on religion by returning to the ground of his metaphysics of relations and by incorporating literary and historical themes.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2007) Religion and Critical Psychology: Religious Experience in the Knowledge Economy. Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 253 pp. ISBN 978-0-415-42306-9.

    Abstract

    Jeremy Carrette argues that the psychology of religion is no longer sustainable without a social critique, and that as William James predicted, the project of the modernist psychology of religion has failed. Controversially, he champions greater social and philosophical analysis within the field to challenge the political naivety and disciplinary illusions of the traditional approaches to psychology of religion. Carrette discusses the relevance of the social and economic factors surrounding the debates of psychology and religion, through three critical examples: psychoanalysis; humanistic psychology; and, cognitive neuroscience. "A Critical Psychology of Religion" provides a new dimension to the debates surrounding religious experience. It will be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of critical psychology, religious experience and the psychology of religion and extends an interdisciplinary challenge to the separation of psychology, sociology, politics, economics and religion.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. and King, Richard (2005) Selling Spirituality: The Silent Take Over of Religion. Routledge, UK, 194 pp. ISBN 978-0-415-30209-8.

    Abstract

    This jointly authored book critically examines the use of spirituality in a neo-liberal world. It argues that, after the privatization of religion during the Enlightenment, there has been a second privatization in the post-1980s global marketplace. This second privatization is related to commercial and corporate powers that have taken over the language of spirituality for the market. The book thus offers a new typology for the relationship between religion and capitalism and shows how ‘brand-culture’ has transformed the idea of the spiritual. It provides a new genealogy of spirituality, an exploration of western and eastern traditions and explores the use of spirituality in business. This book has received considerable international interest, went into digital printing within six months after the first print run, and has already been translated into Dutch and has other forthcoming translations. The originality of the book is in providing a critical interpretation of market and business based spirituality, not least in the ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ publishing industry

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2000) Foucault and Religion. Routledge, London, 215 pp. ISBN 0-415-20260-4.

Articles

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2013) Rupture and Transformation: Foucault’s Concept of Spirituality Reconsidered. Foucault and Religion, 15. pp. 52. ISSN 1832-5203.

    Abstract

    Using Foucault’s conceptual frame from The Archaeology of Knowledge to read Foucault’s late deployment of “spirituality,” this article argues that Foucault’s enigmatic gesture in using this concept reveals a refusal of “rupture” from the Christian pre-modern discourse of “spirit.” Despite attempts to alter the “field of use,” Foucault’s genealogical commitment ensures a Christian continuity in modern discourses of transformation. In a detailed examination of the 1982 Collège de France lectures, the article returns Foucault’s use of “spirituality” to the Alexandrian joining of philosophy and theology and the specificity of Christian practice and belief.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2005) Intense Exchange: Sadomasochism, Christianity and the Politics of Late Capitalism. Theology and Sexuality, 11 (2). pp. 11-30. ISSN 1355-8358.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2004) Religion and Mestrovic's Post-Emotional Society. Religion, 34. pp. 271-289.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2004) Cyborg Politics and Economic Realities: Reflections on Elaine Graham’s Representations of the Post/Human. Theology and Sexuality, 10 (2). pp. 45-55. ISSN 1355-8358.

    Abstract

    This article seeks to examine the political and economic context of cyborg culture and technology in Elaine Graham's Representations of the Post/ Human. It begins by drawing out the relationship between Graham's study and Foucault's genealogical method and seeks to establish the 'silent machine' operating in Graham's analysis. By following three critical strands-know ledge as technology, economic determinism and imaginative agency and the economics of transcendence—the article highlights and extends a crit ique of capitalism and technology in the text. It argues that economics is now shaped by the machine and concludes by opening up a 'politics of refusal'. Graham's work is acknowledged for bringing to light uncomfor table questions surrounding the politics of the machine.

Book Sections

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2013) The Paradox of Globalization: Quakers, Religious NGOs and the United Nations. In: Hefner, Robert and Hutchinson, John and Mels, Sara et al. Religions in movement: the local and the global in contemporary faith traditions. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415818759.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2013) Foucault, Religion and Pastoral Power. In: Falzon, Christopher and O'Leary, Timothy and Sawicki, Jana A Companion to Foucault. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy (117). Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 368-383. ISBN 9781444334067.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2013) The Religion-Secular in International Politics: The Case of 'Religious' NGOs at the United Nations. In: Day, Abby and Cotter, Christopher R and Vincett, Giselle Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular. Ashgate Ahrc/Esrc Religion and Society. Ashgate, Surry / Burlington. ISBN 9781409456773.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2007) Foucault, Monks and Masturbation. In: Baldwin, Thomas and Fowler, James and Weller, Shane The Flesh in the Text. Peter Lang, United States. ISBN 9783039111022.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2007) William James and Emotion. In: Corrigan, John Oxford Handbook on Religion and Emotion. University of Oxford.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2005) Passionate Belief: William James, Emotion and Religious Experience. In: Carrette, Jeremy R. William James and the Varieties of Religious Experience: A Centenary Celebration. Routledge, London, pp. 79-93. ISBN 0754633543.

    Abstract

    This essay appears in the first collection of papers on Foucault and theology. The book was an attempt by Bernauer and Carrette to bring together a variety of engagements with Foucault’s thought since his death in 1984 in order to capture a watershed in the intellectual exchange. It has become a defining text in this genre. The article captures this new frontier of engagements by trying to explore the implications of Foucault’s genealogy of sexuality in terms of how his work inspired writings in gay and lesbian literature known as ‘queer theory’. The article explores the close relation between discourses of sexuality and theology and attempts to show how Foucault’s rejection of sexuality presents a challenge to monotheistic theology. The position is substantiated by excursions into Foucault’s model of the self and examinations of Buddhist traditions, which develop concepts of desire not sexuality. The article shows the importance of Foucault’s work for rethinking theology in terms of contemporary discussions of queer sexuality.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2005) Religion out of Mind: The Ideology of Cognitive science and Religion. In: Bulkeley, Kelly Soul, Psyche, Brain: New Directions in the Study of Religion and Brain-Mind Science. Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 242-261. ISBN 9781403965080.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. and Bernauer, James W (2004) Beyond Theology and Sexuality: Foucault, the Self and the Que(e)rying of Monotheistic Truth. In: Carrette, Jeremy R. and Bernauer, James W Michel Foucault and Theology: The Politics of Religious Experience. Ashgate, London, UK, pp. 217-232. ISBN 0754633543.

    Abstract

    This article appears in the first collection of papers on Foucault and theology. The book was an attempt by Bernauer and Carrette to bring together a variety of engagements with Foucault’s thought since his death in 1984 in order to capture a watershed in the intellectual exchange. It has become a defining text in this genre. The article captures this new frontier of engagements by trying to explore the implications of Foucault’s genealogy of sexuality in terms of how his work inspired writings in gay and lesbian literature known as ‘queer theory’. The article explores the close relation between discourses of sexuality and theology and attempts to show how Foucault’s rejection of sexuality presents a challenge to monotheistic theology. The position is substantiated by excursions into Foucault’s model of the self and examinations of Buddhist traditions, which develop concepts of desire not sexuality. The article shows the importance of Foucault’s work for rethinking theology in terms of contemporary discussions of queer sexuality.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2004) Introduction to Erich Fromm's The Dogma of Christ and other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Society (Routledge Classic edition 2004). In: UNSPECIFIED The Dogma of Christ and other Essays on Religion, Pscyhology and Society by Erich Fromm. Routledge (Taylor & Francis). ISBN 978-0-415-28999-3.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2002) The Return to James: Psychology, Religion and the Amnesia of Neuroscience. In: Carrette, Jeremy R. and Taylor, Eugene The Varieties of Religious Experience (Centenary Edition) by William James. Random House USA Inc, New York. ISBN 9780679640110.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2000) Post-Structuralism and the Psychology of Religion: The Challenge of Critical Psychology. In: Jonte-Pace, Diane and Parsons, William Religion and Psychology:Mapping the Terrain. Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 110-126. ISBN 9780415206181.

Edited Books

    Carrette, Jeremy R. (2005) William James and the Varieties of Religious Experience: A Centenary Celebration. Routledge, 252 pp. ISBN 978-0415333450.

    Abstract

    William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience was an intellectual landmark, paving the way for current study of psychology, philosophy and religious studies. In this new companion to the Varieties, key international experts provide contemporary responses to James's book, exploring its seminal historical importance and its modern significance. Locating the Varieties within the context of James's other works and exploring James's views on psychology, mysticism, religious experience, emotion and truth, the sixteen articles offer new analyses of the Varieties from the perspectives of postcolonial theory, history, social theory and philosophy. As the only critical work dedicated to the cross-disciplinary influence of The Varieties of Religious Experience, this book testifies to William James's genius and ongoing legacy. Inlcuding essays by Jeremy Carrette, Eugene Taylor, Sonu Shamdasani, David Wulff, Jacob A. Belzen, Grace M. Jantzen, Richard King, Robert Segal, G. William Barnard, Ruth Anna Putnam, Richard Gale, Hilary Putnam, and Graham Bird.

    Bernauer, James W and Carrette, Jeremy R. (2004) Michel Foucault and Theology: The Politics of Religious Experience. Ashgate Publishing Group, Ashgate ISBN 9780754633549.

    Abstract

    Whilst Foucault's work has become a major strand of postmodern theology, the wider relevance of his work for theology still remains largely unexamined. Foucault both engages the Christian tradition and critically challenges its disciplinary regime. This text brings together a selection of essays by leading Foucault scholars on a variety of themes within the history, thought and practice of theology. Revealing the diverse ways that the work of Michel Foucault (1926-1984) has been employed to rethink theology in terms of power, discourse, sexuality and the politics of knowledge, the authors examine power and sexuality in the church in late antiquity, (Castelli, Clark, Schuld), raise questions about the relationship between theology and politics (Bernauer, Leezenberg, Caputo), consider new challenges to the nature of theological knowledge in terms of Foucault's critical project (Flynn, Cutrofello, Beadoin, Pinto) and rethink theology in terms of Foucault's work on the history of sexuality (Carrette, Jordan, Mahon). This book demonstrates, for the first time, the influence and growing importance of Foucault's work for contemporary theology.

    Carrette, Jeremy R. and Taylor, Eugene (2002) The Varieties of Religious Experience: Astudy in Human Nature (centenary edition). Taylor & Francis Ltd, London, 480 pp. ISBN 9780415278096.

    Abstract

    In this classic work William James explores the psychology of religion, applying scientific method to a field that had previously been treated as theoretical, abstract philosophy. This 2002 centenary edition celebrates the 100th anniversary of this landmark text. It includes new introductions by Jeremy Carrette and Eugene Taylor, as well as a fully revised index. James believed that individual religious experiences, rather than the precepts of organized religions, were the backbone of the world's religious life. His discussions of conversion, repentance, mysticism and saintliness and personal religious observations and experiences all support his thesis. James' pluralistic view of religion led to his remarkable tolerance for extreme forms of religious behaviour, a willingness to take risks in formulating his own theories, and a welcome lack of pretentiousness in his observations on how an individual stands in relation to the divine.

Total publications in KAR: 28 [See all in KAR]
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Religious Studies, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Religious Studies

Last Updated: 31/07/2014