Theory in a Time of Excess: Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship

Theory in a Time of Excess: Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship

By: Aaron W. Hughes (editor)Paperback

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Description

What does it mean to "do theory" in the study of religion today? The terms "method and theory" are now found in course titles, curricula/degree requirements, area/comprehensive exams, and frequently listed as competencies on the CVs of scholars from across a wide array of subfields. Are we really that theoretically and methodologically sophisticated? While a variety of groups at annual scholarly conferences now regularly itemize theorizing among the topics that they examine and carry out, it seems that few of the many examples of doing theory today involve either meta-reflection on the practical conditions of the field or rigorously explanatory studies of religion's cause(s) or function(s). So, despite the appearance of tremendous advances in the field over the past 30 years, it can be argued that little has changed. Indeed, the term theory is today so widely understood as to make it coterminous with virtually all forms of scholarship on religion. This volume seeks to re-examine just what we ought to consider theory to signify. The book consists of distinct chapters penned by leading theorists in the field.The core of the book consists of statements written by an anthropologist of religion, a literary theorist, a specialist in cognitive science of religion, and a philosopher of religion. Each statement is then followed by shorter response papers, and concludes with a response by the theorist.

About Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author 10 books and over 50 articles and book chapters.

Contents

IntroductionTheory in a Time of ExcessAaron W. HughesPART ONE1. Establishing a Beachhead: NAASR, Twenty Years LaterLuther H. Martin, University of Virginia, and Donald Wiebe, University of TorontoPART TWO2. On the Restraint of TheoryJason N. Blum, Davidson College3. It's Hard Out There for a TheoristMichael J. Altman, University of Alabama4. Signifying "Theory": Toward a Method of Mutually Assured DeconstructionRichard Newton, Elizabethtown College5. On the Restraint of ConsciousnessTara Baldrick-Morrone, Florida State University6. A ReplyJason N. BlumPART THREE7. The High Stakes of Identifying (with) One's Object of StudyK. Merinda Simmons, University of Alabama8. New Materialism and the Objects of Religious StudiesMartha Smith Roberts, University of California, Santa Barbara9. Killing The Scholar: Critical Theory, Relevance, and Objects of StudyThomas J. Whitley, Florida State Univesity10. The Rhetoric of Disinterest for Authorizing our Critical Position: Historicizing Critical-Theory in Religious StudiesStephen L. Young, Brown University11. A Reply K. Merinda SimmonsPART FOUR12. What the Cognitive Science of Religion Is (and is not)Claire White, California State University, Northridge 13. "Show me the Money": Big-Money Donors and the Cognitive Science of ReligionBrad Stoddard, McDaniel Colllege14. Of Elephants and Riders: Cognition, Reason and Will in the Study of ReligionMatt Sheedy, University of Manitoba15. A ReplyClaire WhitePART FIVE16. The Study of Religion, Bricolage, and Brandom Matthew C. Bagger, University of Alabama17. Precision and Excess: Doing the Discipline of Religious StudiesRebekka King, Middle State Tennessee University18. On Druids, The Dude, and Doing Excessive Theory James Dennis Lorusso, Princeton University19. Reliabilism and the Limits of Pragmatism Robyn Faith Walsh, University of Miami20. A Reply Matthew C. BaggerPART SIX21. Theory is the Best Accessory: Branding and the Power of Scholarly CompartmentalizationLeslie Dorrough Smith, University of AlabamaAfterwordFeast and Famine in the Study of ReligionRussell T. McCutcheon, University of Alabama

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781781794241
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 212
  • ID: 9781781794241
  • weight: 421
  • ISBN10: 1781794243

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