“What happens after the deconstruction?”

deconstructionI recently listened to The Religious Studies Project’s latest interview, with Teemu Taira, on the category religion. The way the interview was framed, by Breann Fallon, was “where do we go from here” (as Taira phrases it) — i.e., having understood that the field’s primary organizing concept can itself be examined as an historical artifact, how do we now carry out our work? Continue reading

The Devil’s in the Details

detailsMy early book was cited near the start of Chris Kavanagh‘s recent online essay, as an example of a work in the study of religion that — despite him agreeing that there is “much that is valid in such critiques” — seems to constitute “academic minutiae” that we should put behind us, so we can just get on with our work.

If you’ve not read the piece, you should.

Here’s the closing two paragraphs.

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I’d like to focus on what is being claimed here, in these closing lines, and raise some of the implications that I see to be of importance. For paying attention to the little details is sometimes quite beneficial.

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“A Horse is a Horse, of Course of Course”

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In a review essay posted recently at the Boston Review — entitled “Holy Wars: Secularism and the Invention of Religion” — James Chappel looked at several recent books on religion and modernity. In that article he wrote as follows: Continue reading