Critical Terms for Religious Studies

Front Cover
Mark C. Taylor
University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 1998 - Religion - 423 pages
1 Review
A century that began with modernism sweeping across Europe is ending with a remarkable resurgence of religious beliefs and practices throughout the world. Wherever one looks today, from headlines about political turmoil in the Middle East to pop music and videos, one cannot escape the pivotal role of religious beliefs and practices in shaping selves, societies, and cultures.

Following in the very successful tradition of Critical Terms for Literary Studies and Critical Terms for Art History, this book attempts to provide a revitalized, self-aware vocabulary with which this bewildering religious diversity can be accurately described and responsibly discussed. Leading scholars working in a variety of traditions demonstrate through their incisive discussions that even our most basic terms for understanding religion are not neutral but carry specific historical and conceptual freight.

These essays adopt the approach that has won this book's predecessors such widespread acclaim: each provides a concise history of a critical term, explores the issues raised by the term, and puts the term to use in an analysis of a religious work, practice, or event. Moving across Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Native American and Mayan religions, contributors explore terms ranging from experience, territory, and image, to God, sacrifice, and transgression.

The result is an essential reference that will reshape the field of religious studies and transform the way in which religion is understood by scholars from all disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, gender studies, and literary studies.
  

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Critical terms for religious studies

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Taylor (humanities, Williams Coll.) has edited an intriguing resource for scholars of religious studies. While its title gives the false impression that this book is similar to a dictionary, it is ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
Belief
21
Body
36
Conflict
55
Culture
70
Experience
94
Gender
117
God
136
Rationality
239
Relic
256
Religion Religions Religious
269
Sacrifice
285
Territory
298
Time
314
Transformation
334
Transgression
349

Image
160
Liberation
173
Modernity
186
Performance
205
Person
225
Value
365
Writing
383
Contributors
395
Index
399
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Mark C. Taylor is the Cluett Professor of Humanities at Williams College. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, "Confidence Games "and "Mystic Bones," both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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