2. Main Paper: The Enduring Presence of Our Pre-Critical Past Or, the Same As it Ever Was, the Same As it Ever Was

On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study - James Dennis LoRusso

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

Using initiatives to enhance both students’ and the publics’ religious literacy as the example—from professional associations establishing guidelines to Departments seeing in it their raison d’etre--this paper argues that recent critical gains in the study of religion have been effectively domesticated and thereby limited (such as strong critiques of the world religions paradigm). The paper concludes by challenging a new generation of scholars, some of whom are undoubtedly working in conditions that, in key regards, are rather different from their predecessors, to defend the academic study of religion as an exercise separate from advocating for various religious stances.

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Citation

McCutcheon, Russell. 2. Main Paper: The Enduring Presence of Our Pre-Critical Past Or, the Same As it Ever Was, the Same As it Ever Was. On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2022. ISBN 9780000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=41074. Date accessed: 23 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41074. Oct 2022

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