A reference and teaching resource for the study of religion in college and university settings. It provides for students and scholars a collection of specially commissioned articles that comprise a comprehensive and critical guide to the ways in which religious artifacts and practices are defined. The text is a handbook charting the theories and methods that govern the operation of defining and exlpaining certain phenomena as religious and that pays considerable attention to the intellectual, cultural and political environments in which these operations take place. Contents of the guide are arranged under three general headings: "Descriptions", "Explanations" and "Locations". Essays in the first of these deals with specific theoretical and methodological issues around the question of determining what data falls within the domain of religion. The text therefore proceeds on the assumption that "religion" refers to a range of ordinary human practices. The second set of entries describe and evaluate a broad range of theoretical systems and analytic categories by which those artifacts and pratices defined as religious are explained.
The aim is to redescribe some traditional approaches and to identify emergent approaches. The third set of essays focus on the contextual directives and constraints that envelop the theoretical operations and systems described in the previous two sections and serve to illustrate that religious studies is not an isolated discipline but one located in more general, multi-disciplinary, study of cultural and social formations.
"In the last few years Cassell have published several worthwhile volumes on the study of religion. Guide to the Study of Religion is no exception...For postgraduates and for busy academics bogged down with administration and struggling to keep up with contemporary issues and debates[...]this volume is an extremely helpful and wide-ranging collection."
|Social Formation||p. 283|
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Number Of Pages: 574
Published: 10th January 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 17.0
Weight (kg): 0.93
Edition Number: 1