Religion and Belief After the Turn to Power: A Response to Craig Martin

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
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The introduction of power as a key analytical concept was a watershed moment in the history of religious studies. But what exactly does it mean to embrace the turn to power? Does it mean giving up on the study of experiences, meanings, and beliefs? Or does it just mean changing how we approach them? In my book, Visions of Religion, I argue that we can retain experience and meaning as meaningful analytical concepts even after the turn to power. We can do so without embracing any of the key assumptions of perennialism or what Craig Martin calls neo-perennialism. In this response to Martin, I show that his categorization of my approach as neo-perennialist is based upon a series of misattributions.

  • BushStephen S. (2014). Visions of Religion: Experience Meaning and Power. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • LincolnBruce (2003). Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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