Orthodoxies in the Field of Production

in Religion and Theology
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A revised version of the introduction to my own Entanglements: Marking Place in the Field of Religion (Sheffield: Equinox Publishers, 2014), this essay identifies some of the rhetorical techniques and institutional conditions that make possible the establishment of an exclusive orthodoxy in the modern academic study of religion – an orthodoxy that polices the limits of the field by determining not only what counts as legitimate methods, data, and findings but also who counts as a legitimate practitioner.

Orthodoxies in the Field of Production

in Religion and Theology




Russell McCutcheonThe Discipline of Religion: Structure Meaning Rhetoric (New York: Routledge2003).


Russell McCutcheon“Naming the Unnameable: Theological Language and the Academic Study of Religion,” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 2 no. 2 (1990): 213–229.


BourdieuHomo Academicus68.


Russell McCutcheonManufacturing Religion: The Discourse on Sui Generis Religion and the Politics of Nostalgia (New York: Oxford University Press1997).


For instance see Aaron HughesSituating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academy Discipline (Sheffield: Equinox Publishers2008); idem Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History (New York: Oxford University Press 2012); and idem Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Construction (Sheffield: Equinox Publishers 2012).


Maurice Bloch“Why Religion is Nothing Special but is Central,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363 (2008): 2055–2061.


Bruce LincolnGods and Demons Priests and Scholars: Critical Explorations in the History of Religions (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press2012) 53.


Donald Wiebe“The Reinvention or Degradation of Religious Studies? Tales from the Tuscaloosa Woods,” Reviews in Religion & Theology 11 no. 1 (2004): 3.


Teemu Taira“Making Space for Discursive Study in Religious Studies,” Religion 43 no. 1 (2012): 26–45.


Bruce LincolnDiscourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth Ritual and Classification (New York: Oxford University Press1989) 9.

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