REL 511.001

History of the Study of Religion

W | 1:30-3:30

PRH 210

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This seminar critically examines the history of the academic study of religion from the nineteenth century to the present.

Michael J. Altman

  • Office hours: 

    Monday, 12:30pm-1:30pm; Tuesday, 9:00am-10:00am, and by appointment.

  • (205) 348-5271
"For the self-conscious student of religion, no datum possesses intrinsic interest. It is of value only insofar as it can serve as exemplary gratis of some fundamental issue in the imagination of religion." Jonathan Z. Smith, Imagining Religion (1982), atop a picture of Smith.



Turner, James
Religion Enters the Academy
University of Georgia Press, 2011


Smith, Leslie Dorrough
Compromising Positions: Sex Scandals, Politics, and American Christianity
Oxford University Press, 2020


Smith, Jonathan Z.
Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown
Chicago University Press, 1982

Anthropological Studies of Religion cover image

Morris, Brian
Anthropological Studies of Religion
Cambridge University Press, 1987

Beyond Anthropology cover image

McGrane, Bernard
Beyond Anthropology: Society and the Other
Columbia University Press, 1992

The Invention of World Religions cover image

Masuzawa, Tomoko
The Invention of World Religions
University of Chicago Press, 2005

Significations cover image

Long, Charles H.
Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion
Fortress Press, 1986

Mama Lola Cover Image

Brown, Karen McCarthy
Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn
University of California Press, 2010

The Sacred and the Profane cover image

Eliade, Mircea
The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion
Harcourt, 1959

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