Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

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Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004290591
Size: 73.17 MB
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Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty by


Original Title: Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

Religious-secular distinctions have been crucial to the way in which modern governments have rationalised their governance and marked out their sovereignty – as crucial as the territorial boundaries that they have drawn around nations. The authors of this volume provide a multi-dimensional picture of how the category of religion has served the ends of modern government.

Genealogies Of Religion

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Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801895936
Size: 50.62 MB
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Genealogies Of Religion by Talal Asad


Original Title: Genealogies Of Religion

In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood

Manufacturing Religion

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Author: Russell T. McCutcheon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195355680
Size: 65.20 MB
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Manufacturing Religion by Russell T. McCutcheon


Original Title: Manufacturing Religion

In this new book, author Russell McCutcheon offers a powerful critique of traditional scholarship on religion, focusing on multiple interrelated targets. Most prominent among these are the History of Religions as a discipline; Mircea Eliade, one of the founders of the modern discipline; recent scholarship on Eliade's life and politics; contemporary textbooks on world religions; and the oft-repeated bromide that "religion" is a sui generis phenomenon. McCutcheon skillfully analyzes the ideological basis for and service of the sui generis argument, demonstrating that it has been used to constitute the field's object of study in a form that is ahistoric, apolitical, fetishized, and sacrosanct. As such, he charges, it has helped to create departments, jobs, and publication outlets for those who are comfortable with such a suspect construction, while establishing a disciplinary ethos of astounding theoretical naivete and a body of scholarship to match. Surveying the textbooks available for introductory courses in comparative religion, the author finds that they uniformly adopt the sui generis line and all that comes with it. As a result, he argues, they are not just uncritical (which helps keep them popular among the audiences for which they are intended, but badly disserve), but actively inhibit the emergence of critical perspectives and capacities. And on the geo-political scale, he contends, the study of religion as an ahistorical category participates in a larger system of political domination and economic and cultural imperialism.

Theories Of Religion

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Author: Seth Daniel Kunin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813539652
Size: 34.26 MB
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Theories Of Religion by Seth Daniel Kunin


Original Title: Theories Of Religion

This book provides a comprehensive selection of readings that relate to and explore the definition of religion. The texts come from a wide range of approaches, unified both by the questions they address and their broadly social scientific perspective. The disciplines covered include anthropology, phenomenology, psychology and sociology. The editors have also included some key texts relating to the feminist approach to and critique of religion. The initial section of the book includes some of the foundational texts, such as materials by Marx, Freud, and Durkheim. The remaining sections look at more recent discussions of the issues from the different disciplinary perspectives. Each reading is introduced by a biographical sketch of the author. The book also includes introductory discussions to each section that both raise the key issues developed in a particular discipline and address the disciplinary approaches from a more critical stance. Theories of Religion: A Reader is an invaluable critical resource, accessible to a broad audience as well as students of theology and religious studies.Seth D. Kunin, dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Durham, is author of Religion: the Modern Theories, coeditor of A Companion to Religious Studies and Theology, and editor of Themes and Issues in Judaism. Jonathan Miles-Watson is lecturer in anthropology at the University of Wales Swansea.

The Importance Of Religion

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Author: Gavin Flood
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405189711
Size: 37.10 MB
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The Importance Of Religion by Gavin Flood


Original Title: The Importance Of Religion

In spite of the noble efforts of scientific reason to reveal everything to us, in many ways the world remains a mysterious place. For so many people, religion continues to represent a decisive guide to navigating through the strange world we all inhabit - yet never in history has religion been more misunderstood. "The Importance of Religion" illuminates the central importance of religion in modern times, revealing how it crucially provides people with meaning to their lives and guides them in their everyday moral choices. Renowned religion scholar Gavin Flood argues that modern religions do not just represent passive notions about the nature of reality, but are active and inspirational - they show us ways of living, dying, choosing a good life, and inhabiting the strange and mysterious world of the twenty-first century. In a wide-ranging, engaging, and brilliant book, Flood discusses the nature and meaning of religion and spirituality, as well as religion's relationship with politics, science, evolutionary biology, human rights, culture, humanism, and more. "The Importance of Religion" offers rich insights into the myriad ways religion provides meaning to the lives of people and communities in the modern world.

Relating Religion

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Author: Jonathan Z. Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226763873
Size: 25.14 MB
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Relating Religion by Jonathan Z. Smith


Original Title: Relating Religion

One of the most influential theorists of religion, Jonathan Z. Smith is best known for his analyses of religious studies as a discipline and for his advocacy and refinement of comparison as the basis for the history of religions. Relating Religion gathers seventeen essays—four of them never before published—that together provide the first broad overview of Smith's thinking since his seminal 1982 book, Imagining Religion. Smith first explains how he was drawn to the study of religion, outlines his own theoretical commitments, and draws the connections between his thinking and his concerns for general education. He then engages several figures and traditions that serve to define his interests within the larger setting of the discipline. The essays that follow consider the role of taxonomy and classification in the study of religion, the construction of difference, and the procedures of generalization and redescription that Smith takes to be key to the comparative enterprise. The final essays deploy features of Smith's most recent work, especially the notion of translation. Heady, original, and provocative, Relating Religion is certain to be hailed as a landmark in the academic study and critical theory of religion.

From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

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Author: Ariadne Staples
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113478788X
Size: 10.18 MB
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From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins by Ariadne Staples


Original Title: From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

The role of women in Roman culture and society was a paradoxical one. On the one hand they enjoyed social, material and financial independence and on the other hand they were denied basic constitutional rights. Roman history is not short of powerful female figures, such as Agrippina and Livia, yet their power stemmed from their associations with great men and was not officially recognised. Ariadne Staples' book examines how women in Rome were perceived both by themselves and by men through women's participation in Roman religion, as Roman religious ritual provided the single public arena where women played a significant formal role. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins argues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity. Ariadne Staples provides an arresting and original analysis of the role of women in Roman society, which challenges traditionally held views and provokes further questions.

Understanding Religion

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Author: Benson Saler
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3110218658
Size: 69.66 MB
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Understanding Religion by Benson Saler


Original Title: Understanding Religion

This volume consists of 12 essays published by the author between the years 1997-2007, a thirteenth paper read at a conference in 2006, and a long introduction prepared specifically for the collection. All of the essays deal with epistemological issues attendant on conceptualizing and defining religion, understanding what is likely to be involved in studying and discussing beliefs, and attempting to explain religion and religions by drawing on the contemporary cognitive and evolutionary sciences.

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