Religion, Theory, Critique: Classic and Contemporary Approaches and Methodologies

Richard King
Columbia University Press, 18.07.2017 - 672 Seiten
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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.


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Nominalist Judaism and the LateAncient Invention of Religion
On Secularity and the ReligionMaking Machine
Friedrich Max Müller and the Science of Religion
Religion Religious Studies and Shinto in Modern Japan
David Hume on Religion
Life Works Reception
The MythRitual Debate
From Ritual to Ritualization
Religion and Theories of Action
The Philosophical Background
The Phenomenology of Religion
Mircea Eliade
Religion Is Not a StandAlone Category

Karl Marx on Religion
Indigenous African Traditions as Models for Theorizing Religion
Islamic Dīn as an Alternative to Western Models of Religion
The Psychology of Religion
A Critical Reading
Rudolf Otto and the Idea of the Holy
Cognitive Science as a Basis for Theories
Religion in AngloAmerican Analytical Philosophy of Religion
Structuralist Linguistics and Structuralist Theories of Religion
The Problem of Religion
The Misconstrual
Classical Anthropological Theories of Religion
Geertz and Asad
Classic Ritual Theories
PostMarxism and Religion
Pierre Bourdieu on Religion
Jacques Derrida on Religion
Foucault and the Study of Religion
Contemporary Continental Philosophy and the Return of
Feminist Approaches to the Study of Religion
French Feminism and Religion
Religion Modernity and Coloniality
Du Bois Cox and Fanon
A Genealogy
Religion and Economy
Globalization and Religion
List of Contributors

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Autoren-Profil (2017)

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).

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