Religion, Theory, Critique

Classic and Contemporary Approaches and Methodologies

Edited by Richard King

Columbia University Press

Religion, Theory, Critique

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Pub Date: July 2017

ISBN: 9780231145435

688 Pages

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ISBN: 9780231145428

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Religion, Theory, Critique

Classic and Contemporary Approaches and Methodologies

Edited by Richard King

Columbia University Press

Religion, Theory, Critique is an essential tool for learning about theory and method in the study of religion. Leading experts engage with contemporary and classical theories as well as non-Western cultural contexts. Unlike other collections, this anthology emphasizes the dynamic relationship between "religion" as an object of study and different methodological approaches and openly addresses the question of the manifold ways in which "religion," "secular," and "culture" are imagined within different disciplinary horizons. This volume is the first textbook which seeks to engage discussion of classical approaches with contemporary cultural and critical theories.

Contributors write on the influence of the natural sciences in the study of religion; the role of European Christianity in modeling theories of religion; religious experience and the interface with cognitive science; the structure and function of religious language; the social-scientific study of religion; ritual in religion; the phenomenology of religion; critical theory and religion; embodiment and religion; the impact of colonialism and modernity; theorizing religion in terms of race and ethnicity; links among religion, nationalism, and globalization; the interplay of gender, sex, and religion; and religion and the environment. Each chapter introduces the topic, identifies key theorists and issues, and respects the pluralistic nature of the scholarship in the field. Altogether, this collection scrutinizes the explicit and implicit assumptions theorists make about religion as an object of analysis.
Covering an important and impressive range of theoretical approaches and critical engagement, this sophisticated book will be a useful resource for serious scholars of religion as well as those working in related fields such as anthropology, sociology of religion, and psychology of religion. Hugh Urban, Ohio State University
Once driven by a comparative method on the trail of timeless universals, the academic study of religion is today an entirely different beast: a newer generation is far more sensitive to viewpoint, theory, and the practical implications of scholarship itself. Religion, Theory, Critique offers a set of state-of-the-art essays that keep in sight both the study of religious people as well as those who classify them as religious. It therefore sets the table for scrutinizing the entire field—including our tools and our assumptions. Russell McCutcheon, University of Alabama
This volume will quickly become essential to undergraduate and graduate ‘theory and method’ courses, as well as a range of ‘religion and culture’ courses and graduate student reading lists. M. Gail Hamner, Syracuse University
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. The Copernican Turn in the Study of Religion, by Richard King
Part 1: Historical Foundations/Genealogies
2. Nominalist "Judaism" and the Late-Ancient Invention of Religion, by Daniel Boyarin
3. Bible/Religion/Critique, by Ward Blanton and Yvonne Sherwood
4. Hegel: On Secularity and the Religion-Making Machine, by Arvind Mandair
5. Friedrich Max Müller and the Science of Religion, by Lourens van den Bosch
6. Classic Comparative Theology and the Study of Religion, by Hugh Nicholson
7. Religion, Religious Studies, and Shinto in Modern Japan, by Jun'ichi Isomae
Part 2: The Enlightenment Critique of Religion
8. David Hume on Religion, by Randall Styers
9. Feuerbach on Religion, by Jay Geller
10. Nietzsche: Life, Works, Reception, by Tyler Roberts
11. Sigmund Freud on Religion, by Volney Gay
12. Karl Marx on Religion, by Terry Rey
13. "Religion" in the Writings of the New Atheists, by Tina Beattie
Part 3: Religion Beyond the West
14. Indigenous African Traditions as Models for Theorizing Religion, by Edward P. Antonio
15. Zongjiao and the Category of Religion in China, by Ya-pei Kuo
16. Islamic D?n as an Alternative to Western Models of "Religion", by Ahmet T. Karamustafa
17. Translation, by Arvind Mandair
Part 4: Religion as Experience
18. The Psychology of Religion, by Jeremy Carrette
19. William James and the Study of Religion: A Critical Reading, by Jeremy Carrette and David Lamberth
20. Rudolf Otto and the Idea of the Holy, by Gregory Alles
21. Jung on Religion, by Volney Gay
22. Religion and the Brain: Cognitive Science as a Basis for Theories of Religion, by Ilkka Pyysiäinen
23. A Critical Response to Cognitivist Theories of Religion, by Steven Engler and Mark Quentin Gardiner
Part 5: Religion, Language, and Myth
24. "Religion" in Anglo-American (Analytical) Philosophy of Religion, by Ludger Viefhues-Bailey
25. Structuralist Linguistics and Structuralist Theories of Religion, by Volney Gay
26. Imagining, Manufacturing, and Theorizing Myth: An Overview of Key Theories of Myth and Religion, by Daniel Dubuisson
Part 6: Religion/Society/Culture
27. The Origins of the Sociology of Religion: The Problem of "Religion" and "Religions" in Classical Sociology, by Bryan S. Turner
28. Contemporary Social Theory and Religion: The Misconstrual of Religion in Theories of "Second" Modernity, by Simon Speck
29. Classical Anthropological Theories of Religion, by Randall Styers
30. Defining Religion: Geertz and Asad, by Jon P. Mitchell
31. Religion, Media, and Cultural Studies, by Richard Fox
Part 7: Religion, Ritual, and Action
32. Classic Ritual Theories, by Ulrike Brunotte
33. The Myth-Ritual Debate, by Ulrike Brunotte
34. From Ritual to Ritualization, by Jon P. Mitchell
35. Religion and Theories of Action, by Kocku von Stuckrad
Part 8: The Phenomenology of Religion and Its Critics
36. Phenomenology of Religion: The Philosophical Background, by Charles E. Scott
37. The Phenomenology of Religion, by James L. Cox
38. Mircea Eliade, by Gregory Alles
39. Critical Responses to Phenomenological Theories of Religion: What Kind of Category Is "Religion"?, by William Arnal
40. Critical Religion: "Religion" Is Not a Stand-Alone Category, by Timothy Fitzgerald
Part 9: Religion and Contemporary European Thought
41. Post-Marxism and Religion, by Nelson Maldonado-Torres
42. Pierre Bourdieu on Religion, by Terry Rey
43. Jacques Derrida on Religion, by Ellen Armour
44. Foucault and the Study of Religion, by Jeremy Carrette
45. Contemporary Continental Philosophy and the "Return of the Religious", by Randall Styers
Part 10: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
46. Feminist Approaches to the Study of Religion, by Darlene Juschka
47. French Feminism and Religion, by Morny Joy
48. Queer Theory Meets Critical Religion: Are We Starting to Think Yet?, by Naomi R. Goldenberg
Part 11: Religion, Coloniality and Race
49. Religion, Modernity, and Coloniality, by Nelson Maldonado-Torres
50. Apartheid Comparative Religion in South Africa, by David Chidester
51. Theorizing Race and Religion: Du Bois, Cox, and Fanon, by William David Hart
52. Black Cultural Criticism, the New Politics of Difference, and Religious Criticism, by Victor Anderson
53. Theorizing Black Religious Studies: A Genealogy, by Victor Anderson
Part 12: Religion/Nation/Globalization
54. Religion and Violence, by William T. Cavanaugh
55. Religion and Economy, by Gregory Alles
56. Globalization and Religion, by Jeremy Carrette
List of Contributors
Index

About the Author

Richard King is professor of Buddhist and Asian studies at the University of Kent. He is the author of Early Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism (1995); Orientalism and Religion: Postcolonial Theory, India, and the “Mystic East” (1999); Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought (1999); and Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion (2004, with Jeremy Carrette).