Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Religious Studies

First Advisor

Schultenover, David

Second Advisor

Orlov, Andrei

Third Advisor

Rossi, Philip


In the post-Enlightenment, post-Romantic, post-modem world the quest for identity - or, more specifically, the quest for religious identity - has become a central concern. The "modem" self has come to be defined more and more in terms of subjectivity, relativity, and otherness; and less and less in terms of community, tradition, and religion. The narratives, ideologies, and social structures that have for so long defined us and enabled us to maintain the illusion of a cohesive authentic self have been challenged by contemporary critics - most especially deconstructionists - who have proclaimed these constructs illusory, or at best problematic. The result is the rather frightening possibility that we have built traditions, cultures, and selves out of materials that lack substance. In this post-traditional world, we are faced with the possibility that we have been defining ourselves (and our cultures) in terms of what we are not, rather than in terms of what we are. The self in the post-traditional world is historically conditioned, linguistically constructed, fragmented, and fragile. And if this view of identity ( of self-definition) is accurate, then we must learn to contend with the disquieting realization that otherness is not essentially "other," but is instead fundamental to our very definition of self...



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?