Religion in Theory and Practice - Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Scholars - Russell T. McCutcheon

Religion in Theory and Practice - Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Scholars - Russell T. McCutcheon

4. Redescribing Spirituality: The Strategic Use of the Solitary Identifier

Religion in Theory and Practice - Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Scholars - Russell T. McCutcheon

Russell T. McCutcheon [+-]
University of Alabama
Russell T. McCutcheon is University Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, USA. He publishes widely on the history of the study of religion, the tools scholars use in their work, and the practical implications of that work. Among his recent publications are Reading J. Z. Smith (with Willi Braun; Oxford University Press, 2018), ‘Religion’ in Theory and Practice (Equinox Publishing, 2018) and Fabricating Religion (de Gruyter, 2018).

Description

Still implicit to much work carried out in the field is the longstanding assumption that religion is a personal, even ineffable disposition (variously known as belief, faith, feeling or experience) whose public expression is prone to misinterpretation and corruption. Seeing current discourses on spirituality (and thus people who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” [SBNR]) as but the most recent version of this common approach (both within and outside of the academy), this previously unpublished chapter attempts to theorize such claims, in a manner consistent with practicing the study of religion as a social theorist might. Using the work of the Protestant reformer, Jean Calvin, as a case study, it attempts to persuade readers that such discourses are a practical mode of social rhetoric, used to negotiate everyday issues of place and rank.

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Citation

McCutcheon, Russell. 4. Redescribing Spirituality: The Strategic Use of the Solitary Identifier. Religion in Theory and Practice - Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Scholars. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 53-63 Sep 2018. ISBN 9781781796832. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34252. Date accessed: 27 Feb 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34252. Sep 2018

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