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In: The Question of Methodological Naturalism

Abstract

Scholars in religious studies are increasingly drawing important insights from Davidson's philosophy of language. Unfortunately, the most prominent of Davidson's interpreters in religious studies have been Rortian neopragmatists who, I argue, have read into Davidson views which are not his own. This essay seeks to disentangle Davidson's stance from its neopragmatist interpretations. The goal is to understand his stance in order to see how one might approach the study of religious beliefs, and in particular religious metaphysical beliefs, from a Davidsonian perspective.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Abstract

Several theorists argue that the concept of “religion” is not a cultural universal but rather emerged under particular historical and political conditions in the modern post-Reformation west. “Religion,” they say, is a social construction. What are the implications of this view of the ontology of religion? My aim in this paper is to critically engage the arguments of Timothy Fitzgerald—a social constructionist about religion who combines, in my judgment, insight and confusion on the issue—in order to trace out the values and the limits of this approach.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Abstract

Some scholars of religion have turned their attention from religion to “religion” and have then deconstructed the conceptual category, arguing that the concept of religion is an invention of the scholar that corresponds to nothing. In Schilbrack (), I used the work of Tim Fitzgerald to identify what such arguments get right and what they get wrong. In the present reply to Fitzgerald, I make a case for critical realism as a methodological stance for the study of religion that can learn from deconstructive approaches without abandoning the concept.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This paper is a response to Patrick Hart’s “Theory, Method, and Madness in Religious Studies,” and it argues that philosophy is presupposed and therefore ineliminable when theorizing religions.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This paper responds to critiques of my Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto (Blackwell, 2014) from Jeppe Jensen, Mark Gardiner, Bryan Rennie, and Kenneth MacKendrick. It aims to defend my book’s proposals in such a way as to nudge the discipline of philosophy of religion into a reflexive mode that might be called “philosophy of religion studies.”

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Abstract

This paper responds to post-structuralist criticisms of my book, Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto, made by Craig Martin. In particular, it defends my realist accounts of human beliefs and of religions as structures that operate, respectively, in human subjectivity and in history, even when they are not named.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion