Latest Issue: Vol 43, No 2 (2014) RSS2 logo

Bulletin for the Study of Religion

The Bulletin began life 39 years ago 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
Unit S3, Kelham House
3 Lancaster Street
Sheffield, S3 8AF

Recent Blog Entries


Life After Religious Studies: An Interview with Nicholas Dion

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of interviews with former scholars of religion who have, for one or another reason, decided to leave the world of academia. In this series we hope to open up a conversation … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-23More...

Taking Care of Jesus and Muhammad: Reflections on Islamic Studies

by James Crossley Editor’s note: This post is part of a broader conversation on scholarship in Islamic Studies that was sparked by two recent articles, one by Omid Safi and one by Aaron Hughes. Other articles in this series can be found here and here. … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-21More...

Reflexive Religious Studies: A Note

Jason Ānanda Josephson * This post originally appeared on the author’s blog. I’ve been lecturing about and, even calling for, what I term “Reflexive Religious Studies” for some time. My comments about it will be appearing in print in the … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-18More...

Defining Postsecularism: A Response

by Donovan Schaefer In response to a question from a colleague, I asked a small group of scholars working on issues of secularism and secularity how they would define postsecularism, postsecular, or the postsecular (hereafter just “postsecularism”). Their responses are posted at these links … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-16More...

Religion Snapshots: Defining Postsecularism, Part 2

Religion Snapshots is a 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 … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-14More...

Religion Snapshots: Defining Postsecularism, Part 1

Religion Snapshots is a 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 … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-11More...

Aronofsky’s Noah and Ours’

by Matt Sheedy Not since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ has a biblical-themed film garnered so much attention, spurring a wave of commentary from supporters and detractors on one or the other (or the other) side of the … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-09More...

Call for Proposals: Ecological Resistance Movements in the 21st Century: The Continuing Global Struggle for Biocultural Survival and Multispecies Justice

We are currently seeking paper proposals for Ecological Resistance Movements in the 21st Century: The Continuing Global Struggle for Biocultural Survival and Multispecies Justice.  We envision both an edited volume by this title and are also planning a special issue of the Journal … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-08More...

Dead Religions

by Tenzan Eaghll Did you catch the 2008 interview with J.Z. Smith that was recently making the rounds on Facebook? In it, Smith suggests that the benefit of studying dead ancient religions is that they can’t talk back to you. When you … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-07More...

Partisan Science: Evolution and Creation in Postsecular American Politics

by Donovan Schaefer A recent Pew Research Center poll explored correlations between political party identification and beliefs about the origins of species in the U.S. The poll found that self-identified Republicans are the most likely to reject evolutionary accounts of human origins–whether … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-04More...

Recent Articles


Beautiful Babies, Hidden Mothers, and Plasticized Prisoners: The Display of Bodies and Theories of American Religion

This essay responds to the papers presented in the collection "Beautiful Babies, Hidden Mothers, and Plasticized Prisoners: The Display of Bodies and Theories of American Religion," addressing some of the theoretical issues that the papers raise.
Posted: 2014-03-22More...

Body Worlds: Fascination Beneath the Surface

Bodies on Display and Pluralist Frameworks of Production
Posted: 2014-03-17More...

Protecting Her Image: Kathryn Kuhlman and the Manipulation of Negation

In the panel article "Beautiful Babies, Hidden Mothers, and Plasticized Prisoners: The Display of Bodies and Theories of American Religion," this paper delves into a study of how the mid-twentieth-century “Miracle Woman,” the televangelist Kathryn Kuhlman, used popular media--first radio and then television--to control her own image. The panelist argues that Kuhlman’s deft utilization of television, in particular, enabled her not only to control her own image but also to change the image of charismatic Christianity for postwar American audiences. In addition to crafting an image of herself and charismatic Christianity, Kuhlman also mastered the discourse of elision in order to subordinate her very visible, very feminine body. As a female religious leader, Kuhlman had to contend with the practice of self-negation expected by women in many conservative Christian groups in order to gain any significant degree of power. In other words, Kuhlman had to “disappear” or “die” in order to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit if she was to maintain authority. As an embodied female she could not lead without first subordinating, even denying, her own very visible body.
Posted: 2014-03-17More...

Beautiful Babies: Eugenic Display of the White Infant Body, 1854-1922

Baby shows and baby contests in the late nineteenth century United States, beginning as a form of entertainment at agricultural fairs, were co-opted in the early twentieth century as a public relations vehicle for the eugenics movement. This article connects this history of display of the infant body with white
Protestant practices of bodily display in infant baptism as represented etiquette manuals, women's magazines, and works of art. The author argues that infants became unwitting participants in practices of display that marked them as members of affluent white society.
Posted: 2014-03-15More...

Haunting the Streets of Cairo: Visual Habits of the Biblical Imaginary in Nineteenth-Century Holy Land Photography

This article examines connections between visual habits of American imperialism, photographic technology, and biblical imagination in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The author argues that visual habits of optical elision, or the learned technique of not-seeing photographic contemporaries in order to see instead photographic evidence of a biblical past, linked modes of biblical interpretation with forms of American imperialism. She also contends that halftone print technology introduced considerations of the relationship between images and text, providing silhouettes of theological developments at the end of the century that differentiate photography from prior modes of illustration.
Posted: 2014-03-05More...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Chakras and Endocrine Glands: Metaphysics and Physiology in the Preksha Dhyana of Acharya Mahaprajna

This paper is an exploration of preksha dhyana as a case study of modern yoga. Preksha is a system of yoga and meditation introduced by Acarya Mahaprajna of the Jain Svetambara Terapanth in the late twentieth century. I argue that preksha is an attempt to join the newly emerging transnational yoga market whereby yoga has become a practice oriented around the attainment of physical health and psychological well-being. I will evaluate the ways in which Mahaprajna appropriates scientific discourse and in so doing constructs a new and unique system of Jain modern yoga. In particular, I evaluate the appropriation of physical and meditative techniques from ancient yoga systems in addition to the explanation of yoga metaphysics by means of biomedical discourse. I will demonstrate how, in Mahaprajna’s preksha system, the metaphysical subtle body becomes somaticized. In other words, Mahaprajna uses the bio-medical understanding of physiology to locate and identify the functions of metaphysical subtle body parts and processes in the physiological body.
Posted: 2010-03-09More...



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...
More Announcements...

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