A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion


A Modest Proposal on Method further documents methodological and institutional failings in the academic study of religion. This collection of essays—which includes three previously unpublished chapters—identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the field. But amidst the critique there are a variety of practical suggestions for how the science of religion can become methodologically even-handed and self-reflexive—the markings of a historically rigorous exercise. Each chapter is introduced and contextualized by a newly written, substantive introduction.

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Russell T. McCutcheon, PhD (University of Toronto, 1995) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. Onetime editor of Brill’s journal, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion (MTSR), he has written or edited/co-edited a wide variety of books and resources on the practice of the study of religion.
See the interview by Kristian Petersen of Marginalia Radio with Professor Russell McCutcheon, Chair of Religious Studies, University of Alabama, about his new book, A Modest Proposal on Method: Essaying the Study of Religion.
English-reading scholars of religion and students of comparative religion/religious studies throughout the world