Decolonizing the Study of Religion (draft paper)

This page previously had a pre-submission copy of an academic paper, which was temporarily available (Aug to Oct 2018) for comment/feedback.

Malory Nye
Aug 22, 2018 · 15 min read

(update June 2019):

The draft paper I had up here for comments and feedback has now been published as an open access (ie non-paywalled) article in the Open Library of Humanities. It can be found at the following link:

You can also read shorter discussions of this at:

I have left the bibliography for the paper at the end of this post.

(previous note:)

This paper is one that I have been thinking and writing about for some time, and have made previous attempts to explore on this site. I now have a full draft of my main ideas, but it still feels quite ‘undercooked’ and in need of some useful feedback before I submit it to a journal for peer review. The paper began life as a blog post, and then a second post, and has grown and grown.

And so I have decided to try something new and different with this paper at this particular stage. That is, I am posting it here TEMPORARILY, to seek and encourage pre-submission feedback.

This full paper will be available on Religion Bites for just a few weeks — and I invite anyone who is interested to take a look at this, read it thoroughly (if you have the time and interest), and let me know what you think. I appreciate how busy we all are, and it is very easy to click through, like and/or share, and so on — but in posting this now, I am more interested in what people make of the long argument and ideas. When I find a paper that I find interesting and provocative, I hope to be able to use it for teaching and/or research in some way.

Hopefully this paper will eventually be placed somewhere permanently, but for now it is just available on this temporary basis. You are of course free to take a copy of this to read before I remove it— think of it as like a draft version of a paper circulated at a conference. And as a word of warning, the paper is very long (18,000 words). I have given a lot of thought to whether it should be a single paper, or split in two. I prefer it as a single piece, as a ‘long read’. But, of course, I would like to hear your feedback!

Malory Nye, 22 August 2018



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Religion Bites is edited by Malory Nye, an academic and writer precariously teaching at the University of Glasgow. He can be found on Twitter (@malorynye) and on his website,

He produces two podcasts: Religion Bites and History’s Ink.

Malory Nye is also the author of the books Religion the Basics (2008) and There Shall be an Independent Scotland (2015). He is currently working on a new edition of the Religion the Basics book, together with a new book on Race and Religion, which will be published by Bloomsbury Academic.

He is the editor of the Routledge journal Culture and Religion.

Religion Bites

religious studies made quick & easy

Malory Nye

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writer, prof: culture, religion, race, decolonisation & history. Religion Bites & History’s Ink podcasts. Unis of Glasgow & Stirling & Ronin Institute.

Religion Bites

religious studies made quick & easy

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