The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion / Edition 1

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This Companion offers the most comprehensive survey to-date of the study of religion. Featuring a team of international contributors, and edited by one of the most widely respected scholars in the field, The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion provides a truly interdisciplinary and authoritative guide to its subject. The volume:

• Examines the main approaches to the study of religion: anthropological, economic, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological, and theological;

• Covers a range of specific topics, such as the body, fundamentalism, magic, and new religious movements;

• Reviews, within each chapter, the key issues and debates;

• Provides a bibliographical guide to the main literature on each subject.

The quality and the coverage ensure that this Companion will be the definitive reference work for students and scholars alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Its value for students of religion is that it embraces a comparative approach to the discipline of religious studies, presenting a diversity of perspectives without favoring one over the other, while at the same time raising critical questions about the limits of each approach." (Teaching Theology and Religion, July 2010)

“Today’s world is in crying need of an understanding of ‘religion’, as well as specific religious traditions. This volume, expertly edited and introduced by Segal, admirably fulfills this need with a series of essays that combine clarity and accessibility with nuance and balance … The 25 essays in this collection are uniformly of high quality, each with a helpful bibliography that supplements the volume bibliography… this work will command a wide audience, ranging from the general public to religious studies specialists. Highly recommended; all libraries; all levels.”

“This is an excellent volume of papers about the study of religion both in conception and execution … Robert Segal has done a marvelous job in editing the volume and providing a bibliography and index … a very useful, well constructed and interesting book that should be widely read and used on courses.” British Association for the Study of Religions Bulletin

"A useful addition to the growing collection of compendia on theory and method ... a solid, provocative, and largely productive set of essays." Journal of Contemporary Religion

“This is a work that can be used in many ways – as a companion to the study of religion, as a commentary on the place of the study of religion in a largely secular and cross-cultural world, as a guide to various interdisciplinary approaches to the study of religion, as an insight into key writers in the modern historiography of the subject, as a snapshot of different topics, and as a reference work to some of the key figures. These uses will make the book suitable for different types of library and research setting … These are not essays assembled in a hit-and-miss way simply to earn a fast buck and satisfy research assessment exercise criteria: they are relevant and part of a coherent body of work here. It puts the case (if that is necessary) that the study of religion is now a discipline in its own right.” Reference Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631232162
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Companions to Religion Series, #43
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 492
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. Segal is Sixth Century Chair in Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. His previous publications include Joseph Campbell: An Introduction (1987), Theorizing about Myth (1999), The Myth and Ritual Theory (ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 1998), Hero Myths: A Reader (ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), and Myth: A Very Short Introduction (2004).

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Table of Contents

1 Anthropology of religion 3
2 The comparative method 25
3 Economics of religion 47
4 Literature and religion 69
5 Phenomenology of religion 91
6 Philosophy of religion 123
7 Psychology of religion 147
8 Sociology of religion 171
9 Theology 193
10 Body 213
11 Death and afterlife 229
12 Ethics 239
13 Fundamentalism 255
14 Heaven and hell 271
15 Holy men/holy women 285
16 Magic 295
17 Modernity and postmodernity 309
18 Mysticism 321
19 Myth 337
20 Nationalism and religion 357
21 New religious movements 369
22 Pilgrimage 385
23 Ritual 397
24 Secularization 413
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