Beyond Man

Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion

Beyond Man

Black Outdoors: Innovations in the Poetics of Study

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Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: Published: June 2021

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, Religious Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Postcolonial Theory

Beyond Man reimagines the meaning and potential of a philosophy of religion that better attends to the inextricable links among religion, racism, and colonialism. An Yountae, Eleanor Craig, and the contributors reckon with the colonial and racial implications of the field's history by staging a conversation with Black, Indigenous, and decolonial studies. In their introduction, An and Craig point out that European-descended Christianity has historically defined itself by its relation to the other while paradoxically claiming to represent and speak to humanity in its totality. The topics include secularism, the Eucharist's relation to Blackness, and sixteenth-century Brazilian cannibalism rituals as well as an analysis of how Mircea Eliade's conception of the sacred underwrites settler colonial projects and imaginaries. Throughout, the contributors also highlight the theorizing of Afro-Caribbean thinkers such as Sylvia Wynter, C. L. R. James, Frantz Fanon, and Aimé Césaire whose work disrupts the normative Western categories of religion and philosophy.

Contributors. An Yountae, Ellen Armour, J. Kameron Carter, Eleanor Craig, Amy Hollywood, Vincent Lloyd, Filipe Maia, Mayra Rivera, Devin Singh, Joseph R. Winters


“At this historical moment, along an expansive geography marked by various forms of disregard playing out long-standing modes of violence, this volume goes a long way in helping expose and decipher key structures of power. In the process and taken as a whole, it provides an intriguing depiction of what philosophy of religion has entailed with respect to these structures, and what it can mean and accomplish when cultural assumptions around categories such as the human are interrogated. I highly recommend it.” — Anthony B. Pinn, Rice University

Beyond Man is an important, unique work. It transforms philosophy of religion by insisting that the field be constitutively informed by religious studies, critical race theories, and decolonial, postcolonial, and Black studies. If our discipline has any future at all, this is it.” — Mary-Jane Rubenstein, author of Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

An Yountae is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at California State University, Northridge, and author of The Decolonial Abyss: Mysticism and Cosmopolitics from the Ruins.

Eleanor Craig is Program Director and Lecturer, Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights, Harvard University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction: Challenging Modernity/Coloniality in Philosophy of Religion / Eleanor Craig and An Yountae  1
1. Decolonial Options for a Fragile Secular / Devin Singh  32
2. Embodied Counterpoetics: Syliva Wynter on Religion and Race / Mayra Rivera  57
3. We Have Never Been Human/e: The Laws of Burgos and the Philosophy in the Americas / Eleanor Craig  86
4. The Puritan Atheism of C.L.R. James / Vincent Lloyd  108
5. Decolonizing Spectatorship: Photography, Theology, and New Media / Ellen Armour  127
6. The Excremental Sacred: A Paraliturgy / J. Kameron Carter  151
7. On Violence and Redemption: Fanon and Colonial Theodicy / An Yountae  204
8. Alter-Carnation: Notes on Cannibalism and Coloniality in the Brazilian Context  226
9. The Sacred Gone Astray: Eliade, Fanon, Wynter, and the Terror of Colonial Settlement  245
10. Response—On Impassioned Claims: The Possibility of Doing Philosophy of Religion Otherwise / Amy Hollywood  269
Contributors  287
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1402-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1188-0