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


Thus Spake Hercules: On Atheism and the Uses of Critical Theory

  by Matt Sheedy In a Raw Story article from this past Wednesday, entitled “Kevin Sorbo: Atheists are angry because they secretly know God exists and is judging them,” Scott Kaufman discusses a recent interview with the actor best known … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-29More...

My Inherited Elephant

by Adam T. Miller * This piece originally appeared on the author’s blog. On August 13th, Matt Sheedy’s “Teaching Ethics and/in the World Religions Paradigm” (originally posted here) appeared on the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog. The piece opens with … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-27More...

Calvary: Imagining Postsecular Sacrifice (Film Review Essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Warning: All the spoilers. To “sacrifice” means to make sacred. In the wake not only of the critique of religious authority by the secular tradition, but the contemporary critique of liberal reason that has complicated the secular tradition itself, … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-25More...

No “Root Cause” to the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Rhizome)

by Zachary Braiterman * This post originally appeared on the author’s blog, Jewish Philosophy Place. What’s at the root of the Israel-Palestinian conflict? When people on the left want to talk about Gaza or the larger Israel-Palestine conflict they often … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-22More...

Practicum’s Syllabus Project–Call for Contributors

Would you like to contribute to the Practicum blog’s syllabus project? In a sense every course is an argument. Of what do we want to persuade students over the course of the semester? We invite instructors to share a course … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-21More...

A Report from the 2014 NEH Summer Institute “Problems in the Study of Religion,” July 7th – July 25th, 2014

by Natasha Mikles This summer I had the pleasure of working with Professors Kurtis Schaeffer and Charles Mathewes to run the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Summer Institute “Problems in the Study of Religion.” Each year, the National Endowment for … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-20More...

Caution: Technical Terminology Ahead

by Russell McCutcheon * This post originally appeared on the Studying Religion in Culture blog at the University of Alabama. I see posts like this on social media all the time (click here if you’re dying to find out what … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-18More...

Humor, Crazy Cults, and a Final Tribute to Mork from Ork

By Philip L. Tite The shocking death of Robin Williams this past Monday has sparked a flurry of tributes, reflections, and, of course, outpourings of grief by admirers. For myself, his death recalled my recent use of clips from Mork … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-15More...

Teaching Ethics and/in the World Religions Paradigm

by Matt Sheedy * This post originally appeared on the Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy blog. Like many PhD students, adjuncts, and even the occasional tenured professor, I inherited a course some years back, textbook, and all, called Ethics … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-13More...

Teaching Beyond the World Religions Paradigm?

By Philip L. Tite Currently I am teaching an undergraduate course, Introductions to Western Religions. This introductory course (along with its companion course, Introduction to Eastern Religions) is a common one in universities across North America. These are the basic … Continue reading
Posted: 2014-08-11More...

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...

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...

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...

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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