A Response to “Responsible Research Practices,” Part 2: Academic Freedom

wisconsinplaqueThis is an installment in an ongoing series on the American Academy of Religion’s recently released draft statement on research responsibilities.
An index of the
complete series (updated as each
article is posted) can be found here.

The first of the thirteen bullet points that comprise the main part of the draft document reads as follows:

academicfreedomShould we follow Marx, then we’d make the relatively uncontroversial prediction that every institution contains contradictions that, if unaddressed, threaten its existence as a uniform whole. And here, in the opening item, I think that we see some evidence of this — correction, we do not see it for, as will all such contradictions, it is not identified and thus there is no need to manage it. For the document is completely silent on the fact that the AAR, by design, houses a number of members who are decidedly not free to research as they see fit and thus cannot honor what the document describes as the highest ideals of intellectual inquiry.

Continue reading