Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (3)
Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (3)
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 83 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Colonialism While numerous examples of colonialism can be found throughout history this de nition deals with a particularly prevalent and impactful form of modern colonialism that emerged as a result of developments in navigation among European powers that connected them to previously unexplored and therefore unexploited peoples and placesl Etymologically the term colonialism sprung into the English language in the latter twentieth century in an attempt to better describe the modern process of subjugation in contrast to the negative connotations of the much older terms republicanism and imperialism The term colonialism combined the Latin word colonus or farmer ie non city dwelling person with the Latin word colonia the comparatively rural place to which Romans were sent or migrated by the authority of the emperor The resulting term then was employed to authorize and normalize the modern impulse of European powers to not only extract goods and services from a speci c region as in imperialism but to also actively govern settle and assimilate the encountered peoples in uniquely modern waysz Interestingly a city in northwestern Germany known as Cologne the fragrant water bearing the city s name and the Spanish word for neighborhood or community colonia share an etymological root with this Latinate3 In fact the term colonia is still employed by the Attorney General of Texas to refer to an economicallydistressed and unincorporated settlement along the border that ironically lacks the water supply or wastewater systems to meet the minimal state standards 4 The terms imperialism and colonialism are often inaccurately used as synonyms While both terms exhibit the asymmetrical expression of power by social entities such as nationstates they also exhibit distinct differences For example such popular novels as Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness Chinua Achebe s Things Fall Apart or Adam Hochschild s King Leopold 3 Ghost more accurately convey the broader meaning of the term imperialism from the Latin word imperium or to command supremelyz These examples fail to be truly colonial because the exhibit no transfer of population to a new territory where the new arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to their country of origin 1 Conversely the Spanish conquest and later inhabitation of the Americas provides a famous example of the use of religious discourse to justify the civilizing and conversion of nonbelievers the extraction of resources such as gold and labor the imposition of language and social customs and consequently the near complete political economic and social colonization of the majority of the Americas1 Similarly the major powers of Europei France Great Britain and Germanyi carved up the newly discovered Congo River Basin through the now infamous Congress of Berlin 1884 1885 Carolus Linnaeus the father of taxonomy whose system of classifying organisms is still in popular use today dealt with this rapid exposure to foreign entities by creating a structured system of differential worth in which Europaeus or whites are described as gentle acute inventive and governed by laws while other races like the Afer or Africans are described as crafty indolent negligent and governed by caprice 5 The resulting structural dichotomies of occidental versus oriental white versus colored Christian versus heathen and civilized versus savage transformed these recently contacted and diverse peoples into a singular constitutive other that defined and defines Western culture by setting the West in opposition to the rest of the world The rapid expansion of European powers into previously remote regions of the world and the confrontations that ensued provoked not only national administrators politicians and racial animosity but also theologians and social scholars of religion They too were left to reconcile their categorical place amidst an evergrowing diversity of languages behaviors beliefs and kinship systems This practice of domination which involves the subjugation of one people by another1 fundamentally informed the creation of the social sciences and continues to shape the study of religion today The creation of seemingly monolithic religions e g Hinduism through the generalizing lens of the colonizer many justifications for the missionization of socalled nonbelievers the popular depiction of Islam as a religion of violence and irrationality and even the imposition of the term religion on largely contiguous cultural behaviors and beliefs are just a few examples of the academy s contribution to modern colonialism Thus this definition of modern colonialism fundamentally relates to the concept of western culture and western religions because it explores how colonialism helped to create the originally arbitrary and theoretically constructed West 1 Kohn M quotColonialismquot The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Winter 2003 Edition Edward N Zalta ed URL lthttpplatostanfordeduentriescolonialismgt 2 OED 3 httpwwwetymonlinecomindexphpsearchcologneampsearchmodenone November 2001 Douglas Harper 4 httpmapsoagstatetxuscolgeogcoloniashtm 5 Systema Naturae 1766 See postcolonialism orientalism imperialism social sciences race theory anthropology
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