"Religion" in Theory and Practice

Demystifying the Field for Burgeoning Academics

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Russell T. McCutcheon
NAASR Working Papers
  • Sheffield, England: 
    Equinox Publishing
    , October
     2018.
     360 pages.
     $32.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781781796832.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Adam Loch forthcoming.

Description

“Religion” in Theory and Practice follows on from Russell T. McCutcheon’s book Entanglements: Marking Place in the Field of Religion (Equinox Publishing, 2014) by offering an overview of the current state of theory in the academic study of religion, and examining a variety of practical sites where critical scholarship is implemented but also challenged. Although addressed to early career scholars, this volume will also be of interest to anyone curious about why so many in the study of religion continue to assume that their object of study needs special attention.

The first section outlines McCutcheon’s broader and more recent thoughts on the current state of the field (such as the claim, by some, that it is now “post-theory”) while the second section applies the first at a variety of discrete sites within the profession, from how we approach teaching the introductory course and the ongoing problem of contingent labor to the varied readers that we can now reach with our work. The volume concludes with a third section in which twenty-one different scholars, each at an early point in their career, take the stage, offering their own views on the challenges of professionalization, job market, gaining teaching experience, and work–life balance. The volume therefore invites readers to step back from their own individual, specialized work and to consider some of the structures in which the wider field exists—and some of the things that we all might do, regardless our career stage, in response to them.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Russell T. McCutcheon is Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. His major publications include Manufacturing Religion (Oxford University Press, 1997), The Guide to the Study of Religion (Bloomsbury, 2000), Critics not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion (State University of New York Press, 2001) and The Discipline of Religion: Structure, Meaning, Rhetoric (Routledge, 2003). His most recent book, co-authored with William Arnal, is The Sacred is the Profane: The Political Nature of ‘Religion’ (Oxford University Press, 2013).

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