In Explaining, Interpreting, and Theorizing Religion and Myth: Contributions in Honor of Robert A. Segal, nineteen renowned scholars offer a collection of essays addressing the persisting question of how to approach religion and myth as academic categories. Taking their cue from the work of Robert A. Segal, they discuss how to theorize about religion and myth from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. With cases from ancient Greece and Mesopotamia to East Asia and the modern world by and large, and engaging with diverse disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, anthropology, history, film, theology, and religious studies among others, the volume establishes a synthesis that demonstrates the pervasiveness as well as the pitfalls of the categories “religion” and “myth” in the world.
Editors’ Acknowledgments Notes on Contributors Introduction: Toward a Segalian ReligiologyThomas Ryba
1 Reductionism in Retrospect: Assessing Robert Segal’s “In Defense of Reductionism” (1983) Almost Four Decades OnDaniel L. Pals 2 Understanding Religion: Interpretation and ExplanationDouglas Allen 3 Robert Segal: Philosopher of Religion, or: Ye’ll huvtae furgi’e oor Robert. He disnae ken his ane strengthBryan S. Rennie
History, Theory, and Religion
4 Presocratic Theories of ReligionNickolas P. Roubekas 5 An Episode in the History of the “Science of Religion”: C. P. Tiele’s Indecisive Scientific PracticeIvan Strenski 6 Many-Titled One; Elephant and Blind Men; Hand and Fingers: Classic Metaphors of Religious PluralismEric Ziolkowski
7 Re-visioning Religious Archetypes: Cognitive Schemas and Material Anchors in Biblical CriticismDexter E. Callender, Jr. 8 The Permeable Boundary between Christian Anti-Judaism and Secular AntisemitismHenry L. Munson, Jr. 9 Experience and Ontology in the Study of ReligionFiona Bowie
10 Theory of Myth versus Meta-Theory of Myth: on the Political Implications of a Late Twentieth-Century DistinctionAngus Nicholls 11 Deconstructing MythJon Mills 12 Myth, Synchronicity, and the Physical WorldRoderick Main
13 Mythic Aetiologies of LossWilliam Hansen 14 Fictioning Myths and Mythic Fictions: the Standard-Babylonian Gilgameš Epic and Questions of Heroism, Myth, and FictionLaura Feldt 15 The Millenarian Myth Ethnocentrized: the Case of East Asian New Religious MovementsLukas Pokorny
16 Métaphysique noire: the Dybbuk Myth and the Book of Job as Mythological Subtexts in the Coen Brothers’ Film A Serious ManSteven F. Walker 17 Jung’s “Very Twentieth-Century” View of Mind: Implications for Theorizing about MythRaya A. Jones 18 Cultural Mythcriticism and Today’s Challenges to MythJosé Manuel Losada Annex: Bibliography of Robert A. Segal, 1976–2019 Index
All interested in method and theory in and academic approaches to the study of religion and myth, as well as religion, history, and the social sciences from antiquity to the present.