Theory and Method are two words that cause considerable consternation in the academic study of religion. Although everyone claims to be aware of and to engage them, the fact of the matter is that they remain poorly understood. Some see the terms as irritants that get in the way of data interpretation and translation. Others may invoke them sporadically to appear in vogue but then return quickly and myopically to their material and with little concern for the larger issues that such terms raise. To contribute to these debates, the present volume reproduces select articles from
Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (MTSR) from the first 25 volumes of the journal, and allows a group of younger scholars to introduce and review them, asking if the issues raised are still relevant to the field.
Aaron W. Hughes, Ph.D. (1968), is the Phillip S. Benrstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the Univeristy of Rochester. He is the Editor-in-Chief of MTSR and has published widely in Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, and Theory and Method.
Contributors include: Matt Sheedy, Robert A. Segal, James B. Apple, Neil McMullin, Rebekka King, Russell McCutcheon, Craig Martin, Donal Wiebe, Emma Cohen, Robert N. McCauley, E. Thomas Lawson, Steven Engler, Mark Q. Gardiner, Bruce Lincoln, Sarah E. Rollens, Burton Mack, Yasmin Merchant, Herb Bergh, Jennifer Hall, Darlene Juschka, Ella Paldam, and Armin Geertz.
Theory and Method: Twenty-Five Years On
Aaron W. Hughes
Ann Baranowksi and John Morgan
Pulling No Punches: Taking Aim at the Eliadean Paradigm
How Historical Is the History of Religions?
Robert A. Segal
Alleviating the Eliade Effect: Neil McMullin’s Critique of Mircea Eliade’s Regnant Discourse in the Study of Religion
James B. Apple
The Encyclopedia of Religion: a Critique From the Perspective of the History of the Japanese Religious Traditions
Letter to the Editors
Gary L. Ebersole
Response to G. L. Ebersole’s Criticism of My Critique of the Encyclopedia of Religions
Coffee with McCutcheon: A Conversation about Language, Pedagogy and Critical Pluralism
Naming the Unnameable? Theological Language and the Academic Study of Religion
On “Belief”: A Story of Protectionism
On the Transformation of 'Belief' and the Domestication of 'Faith' in the Academic Study of Religion
Who Owns Culture Now?
Who Owns “Culture”?
Robert N. McCauley and E. Thomas Lawson
Lincoln’s Clarion Call for Methodological Solipsism
Steven Engler and Mark Q. Gardiner
Theses on Method
The Rewards of Redescription: An Assessment of Burton Mack’s Influence on the Study of Christian Origins
Sarah E. Rollens
On Redescribing Christian Origins
Taking a Critical Turn: Reflections on Islamic Studies and the Relevance of John
The Implications of, and Opposition to, the Methods and Theories of John Wansbrough
“Don’t Drink the Water”: Women, Gender, and the Study of Religion
The Category of Gender in the Study of Religion
Postmodern Critiques Still Challenge the Study of Religion
Global Perspectives on Methodology in the Study of Religion
List of Contributors
Anyone interested in theoretical and methodological issues in the academic study of religion