Latest Issue: Vol 43, No 1 (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


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...

‘Red, Wild, and Blue!’: Depicting Freedom in “Amazing America with Sarah Palin”

by Brad Stoddard On April 3rd, the Sportsman Channel will debut a new show called “Amazing America with Sarah Palin.” As the title suggests, the show’s host is none other than former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-04-02More...

The Politics of Choice

by Craig Martin * This post originally appeared on the Culture on the Edge blog. George Washington’s Sacred Fire—in which Peter A. Lillback argues that “founding father” George Washington was a Christian and not a deist—garnered a great deal of … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-03-31More...

Recent Articles


Weber, Geertz, and Ricoeur on Explanation and Interpretation

One perennial issue in the study of religion is the relationship between explanation and interpretation. Explanation provides causes. Interpretation provides meanings. The issue is the relationship between causes and meanings, for which rough synonyms are reasons, motives, intentions, and purposes. This article presents three of the most common positions on the relationship: those of Max Weber, Clifford Geertz, and Paul Ricoeur. The aim is not to endorse any of the positions but simply to compare them.
Posted: 2014-01-06More...

Our Peculiar Institution: 12 Years a Slave, American Protestantism, and the Erotics of Racism

Read through the lens of Sharon Patricia Holland's work on the "erotic life of racism," Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave offers ways of thinking the intertwining of religion and race in the United States from the antebellum era up to today.
Posted: 2014-01-05More...

Genealogies of Religion, Twenty Years On: An Interview with Talal Asad

Interview with Talal Asad on the 20th anniversary of the publication of Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam.
Posted: 2014-01-02More...

The Occupy Movement, Religion and Social Formations

The Occupy movement was an unprecedented social formation that spread to approximate 82 countries around the globe in the fall of 2011 via social media through the use of myths, symbols and rituals that were performed in public space and quickly drew widespread mainstream attention. In this paper I argue that the movement offers a unique instance of how discourse functions in the construction of society and I show how the shared discourses of Occupy were taken-up and shaped in relation to the political opportunity structures and interests of those involved based on my own fieldwork at Occupy Winnipeg. I also argue that the Occupy movement provides an example of how we might substantively attempt to classify “religion” by looking at how it embodied certain metaphysical claims while contrasting it with the beliefs and practices of more conventionally defined “religious” communities.
Posted: 2013-12-30More...

Rethinking “Religion and Politics”: Reflections on the Reception and Import of Talal Asad’s Genealogies of Religion

Twenty years after the publication of Genealogies of Religion, scholarship in the field of “religion and politics” mostly ignores Talal Asad’s central arguments about the socially constructed nature of the secular-religious distinction. However, a critical counter-tradition is gaining traction. After briefly reviewing the work of three scholars who have drawn on Asad to intervene in debates in political theory, religion and violence, and international relations, I offer some reflections on the triangular relation among states, capital, and the cultural formation of religion. “Religion” as a transcultural category, I argue, can be understood as partly the spectral projection of a universalizing liberal-capitalist order in search of an “other” by means of which to legitimate itself.
Posted: 2013-12-30More...

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...
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