Latest Issue: Vol 44, No 1 (2015) RSS2 logo

Bulletin for the Study of Religion

The Bulletin began life in 1971 as the CSSR Bulletin when it was published by the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion. In 2009 the Council disbanded and the journal moved to Equinox.

Historically the journal has published articles that address religion in general, the history of the field of religious studies, method and theory in the study of religion, and pedagogical practices. From 2010 (volume 39), the Bulletin is published in print and, for the first time, online, with a print frequency of 4 issues per volume.

The online edition includes supplemental content not appearing in the print version including interviews, book excerpts, blogs, and profiles of key thinkers in the study of religion. The new Bulletin also includes open access features and offers enhanced search and access functions across the full range of Equinox books and journals in religious studies, biblical studies, ethics and theology.

Publication Frequency (Print Edition)

Feb, April, September and November

ISSN: 2041-1863 (Print)

ISSN: 2041-1871 (Online)

Editorial Address

Philip Tite
c/o Equinox Publishing Ltd
Office 415, The Workstation
15 Paternoster Row
Sheffield, S1 2BX

Recent Blog Entries


Important, not Particular: A Reflection on Religion in 21st-Century America

Note: This post originally appeared on the Religion in American History blog. by Charles McCrary According to the new Pew study “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” 6.9% of respondents identified their religious affiliation or belief as “nothing in particular” and also reported that … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-27More...

NAASR Notes: Ian Cuthbertson

by Ian Cuthbertson I suppose I had better just come out and say it: I’m interested in lucky charms. My research in Montréal, Québec involves an online survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews with individuals who possess and use lucky or … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-25More...

NAASR Notes: Dennis LoRusso

by Dennis LoRusso Abiding the Habitus, or the Habitus Abides: Getting acquainted with Bourdieu Chances are, if you’ve had the (mis)fortune of reading any of my scholarly work, I probably mentioned some aspect of Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas. His ambitious efforts … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-22More...

Can an Atheist Believe in God?

By Steven Ramey My last post generated an extended exchange with a colleague who has rightly pushed me concerning my disavowal of judging identity claims. My colleague suggested, for example, that someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-18More...

Scripture Made Me Do It: On Images of Mohammad and Scholarly Offence

by Matt Sheedy A recent article from CNN on the shootings in Garland, Texas outside an event sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative on May 3, 2015, provides a useful example of some of the pitfalls that often occur … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-15More...

Call for Participants: NAASR Job Market Workshop (Atlanta, 2015)

If the phrase “academic job market” makes you feel like this… …you’re not alone. There’s no shortage of posts, essays, tweets, and columns devoted to how to position yourself on the job market: what to study, how to shape a … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-13More...

NAASR Notes: Naomi Goldenberg

NAASR Notes is a new feature with the Bulletin where we invite members of the North American Association for the Study of Religion to describe books they are reading and/or research and writing projects that will be of interests to … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-11More...

On The Politics of Spirit: An Interview with Tim Murphy (Part 2)

This is part 2 of a two-part interview with Tim Murphy about his new book, The Politics of Spirit; see part 1 here. Tim Murphy (1956-2013) was Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-08More...

On The Politics of Spirit: An Interview with Tim Murphy (Part 1)

Tim Murphy (1956-2013) was Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His books include Nietzsche, Metaphor, Religion (SUNY Press, 2001) and … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-06More...

Creating History

by Steven Ramey * This post originally appeared on the Culture on the Edge blog. History-making involves the creation of connections between events that generate meaning and order. It is really the same as any storytelling, where the creator of … Continue reading
Posted: 2015-05-04More...

Recent Articles


First as Sociology, Then as Geography: A Review Essay on Steven Sutcliffe and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus’s New Age Spiritualities: Rethinking Religion

This essay reviews Steven J. Sutcliffe and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus's New Age Spiritualities: Rethinking Religion. It shows that their attempt to redefine religion through new age spiritualities is actually an attempt to impose an economically elite social geography onto religious studies as a social fact. My central argument is that this effort in turn reveals that religious studies serves as a sociological factory for liberal economic ideologies. It suggests that to mitigate this ideological work, a shift toward critical geography in religious studies is the way forward.
Posted: 2015-02-19More...

What is a Superhero? How Myth Can be a Metacode

The essay argues that Marvel's Civil War is an interesting narrative concerning the superhero metacode at work. After a brief overview of the crossover event, its allegorical qualities will be discussed followed by a supplemental reading focusing on how superheroes, as agents of pretend play, come to be socialized, coded, and distributed across shared social networks.
Posted: 2015-02-18More...

Wasteland America: The United States in Premillennialist Apocalypse Scenarios

One of the more perplexing exegetical difficulties faced by adherents of American-style premillennialism has to do with the question of what role the United States will play in the coming apocalypse. Despite the nearness of the eschaton and the critical role that the United States is often said to play in foreshadowing it, the Mediterranean-based apocalypse scenario that lies at the heart of most premillennialist exegesis seems to leave little room for a strong U.S. presence at the end. In this article, I shall first survey various premillennialist attempts to account for this quandry before turning to my main argument: that premillennialism's very failure to find the U.S. within the pages of prophecy invests the nation with chameleon-like agency, freeing it from the fatalism often implied in apocalyptic speculation – and creating the possibility of a new political theology conceptualized within in the shadow of the end.
Posted: 2015-02-18More...

An Urgent Need to Consider How to Define Islamophobia

This short discussion article addresses both the problem/s of defining Islamophobia and the ways in which our definitions impact on how we see the world and by what method/s the social problem of Islamophobia is measured. Because of growing internal tensions among Muslims in the world and because of the politicised nature of Islam and Muslims in the West, we argue that there is a growing need to consider how Islamophobia should be defined.
Posted: 2015-02-17More...

Religion Clichés

Framed as a critique of a 1972 article by Ninian Smart, this essay seeks to expose some of the popular and academic clichés associated with the study of religion. Exploring the historical and philosophical context of clichés such as religion is the sacred or religion is about peace, the author suggests that the academic study of religion is intertwined with a series of essentializations that obscure the political context of the religious education. The essay is simultaneously an attempt to update the list of clichés first identified by Smart, and to expose the philosophical and political assumptions represented by the study of religion.
Posted: 2015-02-16More...

Most Viewed Articles


Current Trends in the Study of Early Christian Martyrdom

This paper investigate recent scholarship on early Christian martyrdom. It discusses the shift away from the study of the origins of martyrdom to an interest in martyrdom and the body, Christian identity formation, and martyrdom and orthodoxy. It further discusses the need for a reappraisal of the evidence for early Christian martyrdom and the renewed attention that questions of dating, authorship, and provenance have received.
Posted: 2012-08-12More...

Reinventing Religious Studies: An Interview with Scott Elliott

I interviewed Scott S. Elliott in December 2013, where we discussed his recent book (as editor) Reinventing Religious Studies: Key Writings in the History of a Discipline (Acumen 2013). Our conversation ranged from the history of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion to how articles appearing in its journal, the CSSR Bulletin, over some 40-odd years have been at the leading edge of advancing debates in the study of religion, from problems in theory and method and the definition of religion, to issues of identity politics and the study of Islam.
Posted: 2014-03-05More...

Religion Snapshots: On the Uses of “Data”

Religion Snapshots is a new feature with the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog, where a number of contributors are asked to briefly comment on popular news items or pressing theoretical issues in the field, especially those topics relating to definitions, classification and method and theory in the study of religion more generally. Below is one such roundtable discussion, focusing on the problematic notion of “data” in the study of religion. The editors of the Bulletin encourage readers to follow Religion Snapshots on our blog (and, of course, we welcome responses to the topics discussed by other scholars).
Posted: 2014-01-10More...

Queer Pedagogy and/in Religious Studies

An Introduction to the Special Issue of the Bulletin. The essays emerged out of a panel discussion co-sponsored by the “Queer Theory and LGBT Studies Consultation” and the “Teaching Religion Section” at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Contributors were invited to produce reflections on teaching religion queerly, teaching religion as a queer thing, subverting conventional definitions of (the) discipline, and teaching religion outside of religious studies departments/programs, among other possible topics.
Posted: 2010-08-13More...

Romania’s Saving Angels: ”New Men”, Orthodoxy and Blood Mysticism in the Legionary Movement

In Romania, a Christian, ultranationalistic movement known as The Legionary Movement has before and after the Communist period called for a national, spritual revolution. Perceiving themselves as front fighters protected by the Archangel, Legionaries endeavour to purify the nation so that it can live in its God-given fatherland. In order to assure national resurrection, Legionaries want to create a “New Man”, understood as a new male. This ideal combines the qualities of a Christian martyr, a working hero, a monk and a militant and as such both complex and ambiguous. In practice, Legionaries have a lot in common with other European “boot boys”. Based on field studies, this article discusses the role of men in this movement: their role models, male bonding, rituals and myths, as well as their concepts of family, brotherhood and blood relations, all with reference to a particular ethnonationalistic, christocentric worldview.
Posted: 2012-03-15More...



Letter from the President, Council of Societies for the Study of Religion

Russell T. McCutcheon' s announcement that appeared in the September 2009 issue of the CSSR Bulletin  
Posted: 2009-10-07 More...
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