Reading Seminar: Decoloniality and the Study of Religion

This reading seminar is inspired by the ongoing project of decoloniality, and its possibilities for the study of religion. Decoloniality as an option is a way of thinking and doing – “against the colonial matrix of power in all of its dimensions, and for the possibilities of an otherwise” (Mignolo and Walsh 2018, 17) – that might enable us to imagine beyond the assumptions of our discipline. Taking this as our guiding principle and practice, we hope to use this series of four meetings to consider how decolonial thinking and doing could manifest in the study of religion, and whether we might find any existing models for this sort of transformative intervention within the field.

Using Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh’s On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis (2018) as our impetus to think and do decoloniality, we will be framing our reading and discussion around An Yountae and Eleanor Craig’s edited volume Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and the Philosophy of Religion (2021). How effectively can we trace decolonial impulses and imaginaries into recent work from scholars of religion? In what ways can decolonial praxis be continued, developed, and demanded in the study of religion? Where might we find continued colonial patterns and presumptions to disobey?


Meeting One: Introducing Decoloniality

January 20th, 1:30-3:30pm

Register here.


Walsh, Catherine E. “On Decolonial Dangers, Decolonial Cracks, and Decolonial Pedagogies Rising,” in On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, edited by Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh. Durham: Duke University Press, 2018. 81-98.

Mignolo, Walter D. “The Conceptual Triad: Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality,” in On Decoloniality. 135-152.

Craig, Eleanor, and An, Yountae. “Introduction: Challenging Modernity/Coloniality in Philosophy of Religion,” in Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and the Philosophy of Religion, edited by Eleanor Craig and An Yountae. Durham: Duke University Press, 2021. 1-31.

Meeting Two: The Secular, the Religious, and the Decolonial Option

February 17th, 1:30-3:30pm

Register here.


Masuzawa, Tomoko. “Introduction.” The Invention of World Religions: Or, How European Universalism was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. 1-29

An, Yountae. “A Decolonial Theory of Religion: Race, Coloniality, and Secularity in the Americas.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 88, no. 4 (2020): 947-980.

Singh, Devin. “Decolonial Options for a Fragile Secular,” in Beyond Man. 32-56.

Meeting Three: Race, Religion, and the Colonial Matrix of Power 

March 10th, 1:30-3:30pm

Register here.


Wynter, Sylvia. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, after Man, Its Overrepresentation—an Argument.” CR: The New Centennial Review 3, no. 3 (2003). Excerpts.

Rivera, Maya. “Embodied Counterpoetics: Sylvia Wynter on Religion and Race,” in Beyond Man. 57-85.

Meeting Four: Decolonial Cracks in the Study of Religion

April 7th, 1:30-3:30pm

Register here.

We are honoured to welcome Dr. An Yountae to our final meeting. Dr. An will be sharing a keynote presentation on the material, and joining us for the ensuing discussion.


Fanon, Frantz. “On Violence.” The Wretched of the Earth, translated by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press, 2004. 1-52.

An, Yountae. “On Violence and Redemption: Fanon and Colonial Theodicy,” in Beyond Man. 204-225.