1. Crisis, What Crisis? The Study of Religion is Always in Crisis

Discourses of Crisis and the Study of Religion - Lauren Horn Griffin

Aaron W. Hughes [+-]
University of Rochester
Aaron W. Hughes is the Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and the Philip S. Bernstein Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. His research and publications focus on both Jewish philosophy and Islamic Studies. He has authored numerous books, including Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline (Equinox, 2007); Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction (Equinox, 2012); Muslim Identities: An Introduction to Islam (Columbia, 2012); and Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History (Oxford, 2012). He currently serves as the editor of the journal Method and Theory in the Study of Religion.


This chapter focuses on the concept of “crisis” in the field of religious studies. Based on his keynote address, Aaron Hughes argues that crises exist at the level of discourse, among a group whose members share affinities, share narratives, and share goals—and thus share the identities that then result. After a brief history and analysis of the term itself, Hughes asks us to examine how such things as rhetorics of crisis work—when they’re invoked, why they’re invoked, who gets to invoke them, and what might be accomplished by making such claims.

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Hughes, Aaron. 1. Crisis, What Crisis? The Study of Religion is Always in Crisis. Discourses of Crisis and the Study of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Feb 2025. ISBN 9781800505315. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43931. Date accessed: 19 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43931. Feb 2025

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