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A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

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Russell T. McCutcheon

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 This collection of essays—which includes three previously unpublished chapters—identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the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.

A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

Russell McCutcheon

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.

Making Religion

Theory and Practice in the Discursive Study of Religion

Series:

Edited by Frans Wijsen and Kocku von Stuckrad

Discursive approaches to the study of religion have received a lot of attention recently. Making Religion brings together leading theorists in the field who explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of the analysis of religious discourse. The volume provides an overview of current debates in the field, extends and improves upon contemporary theories and methodologies, and contributes to the discipline more broadly by flagging the importance of this emerging field of research. The combination of theoretical reflection and practical application of discourse analysis as a tool to study religion opens up new perspectives for future research.

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Journal of the North American Association for the Study of Religion

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion publishes articles, notes, book reviews and letters which explicitly address the problems of methodology and theory in the academic study of religion. This includes such traditional points of departure as history, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, and sociology, but also the natural sciences, and such other approaches as feminist theory, discourse analysis, and ideology critique. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion also concentrates on the critical analysis of the history of the study of religion itself.
For all editorial enquiries please contact the editor, Aaron Hughes at aaron.hughes@rochester.edu and Steven Ramey at sramey@ua.edu.
European Science Foundation Ranking A.

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Chris A.M. Hermans and Carl Sterkens

Don Wiebe

parameters for such an enterprise. This is not the only way to “study” such phenomena. However, it is clear that, given the “progress” of the “mainstream Western epistemological tradition,” knowledge claims about religious phenomena must be methodologically commensurable and compatible with those of the

Michael Lambek

To be an adherent of a tradition is always to enact some further stage in the development of one’s tradition. (MacIntyre 1988 :11) Epistemological Considerations Across the Disciplines I begin with two claims. 1 The first is that behind questions of methodology lie those of epistemology