Routledge proudly announces "theory4," a new series that presents concise overviews of the major theorists, written with a particular discipline in mind. Theory is now part of every discipline's set of tools; these volumes are tailored to the needs of students and scholars in a given field. Focusing on the great theoretical figures since the end of the nineteenth century, each volume will contain twenty to thirty entries. Each entry will give the reader a brief description of that thinker's ideas and crucial innovations in light of a specific discipline, along with a highly selected list of recommended primary and secondary readings.
The inaugural volume, "Theory for Religious Studies, "will be followed by volumes in history, art, film, music, and other disciplines.
"Theory for Religious Studies" presents the key theoretical influences on religious studies since the 1960s - an essential guide to the figures and ideas animating religious studies today. Drawing on their complementary knowledge of Eastern and Western religious traditions, William Deal and Timothy Beal begin with four foundational figures - Marx, Nietzsche, Saussure, and Freud - and go on to provide guided introductions to Althusser, Bakhtin, Barthes, Bataille, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Bourdieu, Butler, Cixous, Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Foucault, Gadamer, Irigaray, Kristeva, Lacan, Lefebvre, Levinas, Lyotard, Merleau-Ponty, Said, Spivak, White, Williams, and Zizek. Brisk, thoughtful, and engaging, this will be an essential first volume for anyone at work in religious studies today.
"Clear, crisp and cogent: all words the reader will use to describe this superb new reference book on contemporary theories and the study of religion. According to authors William Deal and Tim Beal, theory is a way of seeing, of viewing a subject in order to understand. The authors help us to see religion in many new ways by providing overviews of contemporary theories and their usefulness in viewing religion. Undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members will find this an excellent introduction to contemporary theories and to new ways of understanding religion." - Rebecca Chopp, Colgate University