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Studying Religion: An Introduction / Edition 1

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While many entry level resources concentrate on providing detailed descriptions of the worlds religions, Studying Religion: An Introduction turns its attention from the data of religion to the analytic skills required of anyone interested in studying the behaviors and institutions that we commonly name as religions. It shifts the focus from describing the exotic or curious religious Other to examining scholarly practice itself, and persuades readers that prior attention to their own habits will assist their efforts to study the habits of others. Although this little book can be used as part of an introductory course (when supplemented by ethnographic materials of the instructors choosing), and is accessible to interested readers outside the university, it will also be of use in any course in the study of religion. For, despite the topic under study, the same intellectual skills are required to isolate, name, and examine within a comparative context, those collections of human artifacts that strike students as deserving attention. Studying Religion: An Introduction will therefore assist instructors across the academic study of religion to set the table, as it were, with the descriptive and comparative methods, as well as explanatory theories, on which scholars routinely draw in carrying out their work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845530129
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 375,251
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell T. McCutcheon is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: What is the Study of Religion? 1. What’s in a Name? 2. The History of "Religion" 3. The Essentials of Religion 4. The Functions of Religion 5. The Public Discourse on Religion 6. Religion and the Insider/Outsider Problem 7. The Resemblance Among Religions 8. Religion and Classification Afterword: The Necessary Lie: Duplicity in the Disciplines by Jonathan Z. Smith
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