Theory in a Time of Excess - Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship - Aaron W. Hughes

Theory in a Time of Excess - Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship - Aaron W. Hughes

21. Theory is the Best Accessory: Branding and the Power of Scholarly Compartmentalization

Theory in a Time of Excess - Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship - Aaron W. Hughes

Leslie Dorrough Smith [+-]
Avila University
Leslie Dorrough Smith is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Avila University (Kansas City, MO), where she is also the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She is the author of Righteous Rhetoric: Sex, Speech, and the Politics of Concerned Women for America (Oxford, 2014) and is working on a manuscript on the social significance of political sex scandals in the United States. Her research interests focus on American conservative Protestants, critical theory, and the use of method and theory in both religious studies and gender studies.

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If we are to seriously consider what circumstances cause so many scholars of religion to tout themselves as people who “do” method and theory – and yet nevertheless end up with analyses that are relatively empty of both – then perhaps this has something to do with the very ways that we are first taught to professionally barter in those terms. In this chapter, Smith grapples with how the ghettoization of theory has transformed it into what is marketed as an attractive but ultimately unnecessary appendage to scholarship, which remains the model that is still embraced by many graduate programs in religious studies today.

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Citation

Smith, Leslie. 21. Theory is the Best Accessory: Branding and the Power of Scholarly Compartmentalization. Theory in a Time of Excess - Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 179-189 Jan 2017. ISBN 9781781794241. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=28813. Date accessed: 24 Nov 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28813. Jan 2017

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