3. Is J. Z. Smith a Nominalist… a Pragmatist… or a Constructionist? Does it Even Matter?

Thinking with J. Z. Smith - Mapping Methods in the Study of Religion - Barbara Krawcowicz

Indrek Peedu [+-]
University of Tartu
Indrek Peedu is Research Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Tartu and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at CERES, Ruhr-University Bochum. His research has mostly dealt with methodological and epistemological issues of contemporary evolutionary, cognitive and behavioral study of religion, but he has also written about the history of the study of religion and other related issues.

Description

In his chapter, Indrek Peedu rightly observes that like other influential scholars of religion from the past, Jonathan Z. Smith is not only an important voice we can choose to hear or ignore but also that he has become our data, and as such, an object of classification. Smith’s work has been read and interpreted in a variety of different—and occasionally—contradictory ways. Was he a nominalist, as some claim? Or maybe, as suggested by others, a pragmatist? Or a constructionist? Rather than proposing yet another classificatory label, Peedu argues that the real relevance and central importance of J. Z. Smith reveals itself in the how rather than the what of his thinking about the problems we face in the study of religion.

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Citation

Peedu, Indrek. 3. Is J. Z. Smith a Nominalist… a Pragmatist… or a Constructionist? Does it Even Matter?. Thinking with J. Z. Smith - Mapping Methods in the Study of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781781799840. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39926. Date accessed: 26 Nov 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39926. Oct 2023

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