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 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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Biographical Note

Russell T. McCutcheon 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.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Sources Preface Introduction    Plus ça change… 1 Introduction   A Modest Proposal on Method 2 Introduction   I Have a Hunch 3 Introduction   Myth 4 Introduction   Introducing Smith 5 Introduction   How to Give Up the Bible, and Learn to Love It Again 6 Introduction   “Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead?” (Luke 24: 5) 7 Introduction   A Response to Donald Wiebe from an East-Going Zax 8 Introduction   “And That’s Why No One Takes the Humanities Seriously” 9 Introduction   It Could be Different    Reinventing the Study of Religion in Alabama Afterword References Index

Readership

English-reading scholars of religion and students of comparative religion/religious studies throughout the world

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