3. Introducing Religion
Jesus and Addiction to Origins - Toward an Anthropocentric Study of Religion - Willi Braun
Willi Braun [+]
University of Alberta
Willi Braun is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Classics and the Program in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is the former President of the North American Association for the Study of Religion and also the past President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. Although a specialist in the writings and social formations of earliest Christianities in the Roman empire, his work also focuses on the methods and theories of the academic study of religion itself. He has published and presented his work widely and served as editor of a variety of books and journals, including his longtime role as editor of Method and Theory in the Study of Religion; most recently, he co-edited Reading J. Z. Smith: Interviews and Essay (Oxford, 2018).
This chapter poses the simple question: on what account is the study of religion to live another day in the academy of learning? The chapter does not lay out a full answer, but—recognizing the influence of Jonathan Z. Smith on the field—addresses the question of stance (or intellectual disposition, attitude and intellectual angle) that might inform how we formulate our answer.