This special issue seeks to update the study of religion from a postcolonial theoretical approach to include not only Christianity but also other major world religions and to explore the uses to which religion has been put--both in the further imposition of varieties of colonization, and also in resistance to powerful economic and military forces in various cultures and colonizing (and decolonizing) projects. On the one hand, there is stultifying and mechanistic formalism, institutional self-preservation, pacification of the masses, and patriarchal intransigence; on the other hand, theology from below, renegade priests and nuns, local artistic and musical expression that speaks truth to power--heretical, blasphemous, and ecstatic disruption. Sometimes a comfort, sometimes a spur to rebellion. Essays on literature's responses to these countervailing winds will be included, as will those that treat either popular and high art or music.
John C. Hawley, Department of English, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053 USA