In light of postcolonial and feminist criticism, it has become good form for scholars to "locate themselves" with regard to their subject matter by laying out their values and presuppositions to the extent possible. Because supposedly "objective" or "neutral" scholarship often reflects hegemonic interests, this practice ideally brings self-awareness about the discourses we carry into the hermeneutical process. Postcolonial discourse since Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) instructs that if Western academics are to continue representing the so-called East, they must at least acknowledge the dominance of Western and Christian presuppositions in this scholarly tradition.

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