REL 512.001

Debates in Method and Theory

T | 1:30-3:20

MA 210

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This semester’s seminar is focused rather specifically on the problem of defining religion; using the manuscript to a forthcoming book, Religion is…: Debating the Academy Study of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2021), co-edited by Aaron Hughes and Russell T. McCutcheon, students will read, and each make presentations based on, seventeen contemporary, senior scholars debating the definitions that guide their own work. (The manuscript for the course’s main book will be sent to students as a PDF.)

Ending with each student writing a review essay on Edward Shiappa’s Defining Reality: Definitions and the Politics of Meaning — and doing so from the viewpoint of the academic study of religion — the seminar challenges students to consider the gains that come from being careful and articulate in their work as well as the practical implications for how we go about defining our object of study.

Russell T. McCutcheon

Photo of the entry in a dictionary for the word definition
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