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

Gregory D. Alles [+-]
McDaniel College
Gregory Alles is professor of religious studies at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He is co-editor of Numen, the journal of the International Association for the History of Religions, and a member of the steering committee of the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Alles has served as President of the North American Association for the Study of Religions. His research has focused widely on rhetoric in Greek and Sanskrit epic, the history of the study of religions in Germany, particularly the work of Rudolf Otto, the study of religions in a global context, and most recently on adivasi (tribal) people in Gujarat, India, known as Rathvas. He edited Religious Studies: A Global View and is author of The Iliad, The Ramayana, and the Work of Religion: Failed Persuasion and Religious Mystification as well as a number of articles.


Previous volumes in the NAASR Working Papers series have critical reflections on key domains of field, such as theory, method, data, and categories. This latest addition to the series takes a step back to consider syncretically how religion is imagined or invented through several lenses. It takes as inspiration the work of the late Jonathan Z. Smith, who challenged scholars to be mindful of the ways they imagine religion and religious data. Building off this crucial insight, On the Subject of Religion brings together a range of early-career and established scholars of religion to explore how various domains of society—namely the classroom, academic literature, public debates, and private fundraising—shape and are shaped by the contours of the academic study of religion. For example, how is religion depicted in the academic study of religion? How do private donors selectively privilege certain descriptions of religion and to what ends? Do the practical needs of students align or conflict with the theoretical concerns of scholars? To what extent do answers to these questions reveal shared challenges or fault lines across the field of study?

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Alles, Gregory. Rejoinder. On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2022. ISBN 9780000000000. Date accessed: 23 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41085. Oct 2022

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