Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion
One of the most influential theorists of religion, Jonathan Z. Smith is best known for his analyses of religious studies as a discipline and for his advocacy and refinement of comparison as the basis for the history of religions. Relating Religion gathers seventeen essays—four of them never before published—that together provide the first broad overview of Smith's thinking since his seminal 1982 book, Imagining Religion.
Smith first explains how he was drawn to the study of religion, outlines his own theoretical commitments, and draws the connections between his thinking and his concerns for general education. He then engages several figures and traditions that serve to define his interests within the larger setting of the discipline. The essays that follow consider the role of taxonomy and classification in the study of religion, the construction of difference, and the procedures of generalization and redescription that Smith takes to be key to the comparative enterprise. The final essays deploy features of Smith's most recent work, especially the notion of translation.
Heady, original, and provocative, Relating Religion is certain to be hailed as a landmark in the academic study and critical theory of religion.
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1 When the Chips Are Down
Morphology and History in Mircea Eliades Patterns in Comparative Religion 19491999 Part 1 The Work and Its Contexts
Morphology and History in Mircea Eliades Patterns in Comparative Religion 19491999 Part 2 The Texture of the Work
4 The Topography of the Sacred
5 Manna Mana Everywhere and ++
6 The Domestication of Sacrifice
Taxonomies of Religion
8 Religion Religions Religious
12 What a Difference a Difference Makes
13 Close Encounters of Diverse Kinds
14 Here There and Anywhere
The History of the History of Religions History
Religion and Civic Discourse
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