Seven Ways of Looking at Religion

The Major Narratives

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Benjamin Schewel
  • New Haven, CT: 
    Yale University Press
    , September
     2017.
     248 pages.
     $40.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780300218473.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by John L. Murphy forthcoming.

Description

An ambitious young scholar’s lucid analysis of religion’s shifting place in the modern world.

Western intellectuals have long theorized that religion would undergo a process of marginalization and decline as the forces of modernity advanced. Yet recent events have disrupted this seductively straightforward story. As a result, while it is clear that religion has somehow evolved from its tribal beginnings up through modernity and into the current global age, there is no consensus about what kind of narrative of religious change we should alternatively tell. Seeking clarity, Benjamin Schewel organizes and evaluates the prevalent narratives of religious history that scholars have deployed over the past century and are advancing today. He argues that contemporary scholarly discourse on religion can be categorized according to seven central narratives: subtraction, renewal, transsecular, postnaturalist, construct, perennial, and developmental. Examining the basic logic, insights, and limitations of each of these narratives, Schewel ranges from Martin Heidegger to Muhammad Iqbal, from Daniel Dennett to Charles Taylor, to offer an incisive, broad, and original perspective on religion in the modern world.

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

Benjamin Schewel is a fellow in the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen and an affiliate scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments