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Jason Springs
University of Notre Dame
  1. Between Barth and Wittgenstein: On the Availability of Hans Frei's Later Theology.Jason A. Springs - 2007 - Modern Theology 23 (3):393-413.
    This paper explores the “cultural-linguistic” dimensions of Hans Frei’s theology. I make the case that several of the pragmatic and sociological concerns usually identified as distinctive marks of Frei’s later theology of the 1980s are, in fact, central to his work as far back as the early 1960s. Moreover, I demonstrate that such “cultural-linguistic” insights present important continuous threads in the development of his theology from early to late. Attending to this dimension illuminates the trajectory of Frei’s thinking as consistently (...)
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    Healthy Conflict in Contemporary American Society: From Enemy to Adversary.Jason A. Springs - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    US citizens perceive their society to be one of the most diverse and religiously tolerant in the world today. Yet seemingly intractable religious intolerance and moral conflict abound throughout contemporary US public life - from abortion law battles, same-sex marriage, post-9/11 Islamophobia, public school curriculum controversies, to moral and religious dimensions of the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements, and Tea Party populism. Healthy Conflict in Contemporary American Society develops an approach to democratic discourse and coalition-building across deep (...)
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  3. On Giving Religious Intolerance its Due: Prospects for Transforming Conflict in a Post-Secular Society.Jason A. Springs - 2012 - Journal of Religion 28 (3):1-30.
    This essay explores the possibility that religiously motivated intolerance and conflict can be reframed and positively utilized for constructive social-political purposes. After reviewing efforts by political philosophers over the past two decades to accommodate religious voices in political discourse, I scrutinize Charles Taylor’s attempt to improve upon the limits of “accommodationist” approaches to religious intolerance and conflict. I argue that both accommodationist and Taylor’s recognition-based approaches to religiously motivated conflict take the gravity of such conflict with insufficient seriousness. I then (...)
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  4. Meaning Vs. Power: Are Thick Description and Power Analysis Intrinsically at Odds? Response to Interpretation, Explanation, and Clifford Geertz.Jason A. Springs - 2012 - Religion Compass 6 (12):534-542.
    This essay clarifies and defends the methodological multidimensionality and improvisational character of Clifford Geertz’s account of interpretation and explanation. In contrast to accounts of power analysis offered by Michel Foucault and Talal Asad, I argue that Geertz’s work can simultaneously attend to meaning, power, identity, and experience in understanding and assessing religious practices and cultural formations.
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  5. A Tale of Two Islamophobias: The Paradoxes of Civic Nationalism in Contemporary Europe and the United States.Jason A. Springs - 2015 - Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 98 (3):289-321.
    I argue that trends of diagnosing anti-Muslim attitudes and activism as “Islamophobia” in European and the U.S. contexts may actually aid and abet more subtle varieties of the very stigmatization and exclusion that the “phobia” moniker aims to isolate and oppose. My comparative purpose is to draw into relief—to make explicit and subject to critical analysis— features of normative public discourse in these two sociopolitical contexts broadly perceived to be peaceful, prosperous, liberal-democratic. The features I focus on function under the (...)
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  6. Tentacles of the Leviathan? Nationalism, Islamophobia, and the and the Insufficiency-yet-Indispensability of Human Rights for Religious Freedom in Contemporary Europe.Jason A. Springs - 2016 - Journal of the American Academy of Religion 84 (3).
    Is the institutionalization of religious freedom through human rights jurisprudence simply a means by which the modern nation-state manufactures and regulates “religion”? Is the discourse of religious freedom principally a technology of state governance? These questions challenge the ways that scholars conceptualize the relation between states, nationalism, human rights, and religious freedom. This article forwards an approach to human rights and methodological nationalism that both counters and explores alternatives to the prevailing conceptions of human rights, nationalism, and state sovereignty in (...)
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  7. 'Next Time Try Looking It Up in Your Gut!!': Tolerance, Civility, and Healthy Conflict in a Tea Party Era.Jason A. Springs - 2011 - Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 94 (3-4):325-358.
    In this paper I critically explore the possibility that the hope for engaging in democratic discourse and coalition-building across deep— potentially irreconcilable— moral, religious divisions in current U.S. public life depends less upon further calls for “more tolerance,” and instead in thinking creatively and transformatively about how to democratize and constructively utilize conflict and intolerance. Is it possible to distinguish between constructive and destructive forms of intolerance? If so, what are the prospects for re-orienting analysis of democratic practices and processes (...)
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  8. What Cultural Theorists of Religion Have to Learn From Wittgenstein, or, How to Read Geertz as a Practice Theorist.Jason A. Springs - 2008 - Journal of the American Academy of Religion 76 (4).
    Amid the debates over the meaning and usefulness of the word “culture” during the 1980s and 90s, practice theory emerged as a framework for analysis and criticism in cultural anthropology. While theorists have gradually begun to explore practice-oriented frameworks as promising vistas in cultural anthropology and the study of religion, these remain relatively recent developments that stand to be historically explicated and conceptually refined. This article assesses several ways that practice theory has been articulated by some of its chief expositors (...)
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