• Suppose one wants to study the French Revolution. One way is to study the event ever more intensely, learning more and more about this case itself. The other way is to study the revolution comparatively, by matching it up with other revolutions. The aim is to see how the French Revolution is both like and unlike, say, the American or Russian Revolution. Comparativists can seek either the similarities or the differences.

  • Did you miss our free July webinar? "Reading Religion: The Elements of a Strong Scholarly Review" is available online now at the American Academy of Religion. 

    We hosted a webinar on writing book reviews. How do you write a quality review? Why review books? Presenters Kimberly Davis (RR Senior Editor), Kevin Schilbrack (RR Associate Editor and JAAR Book Review Editor), and Deanna Womack (Assistant Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology) discussed the crucial elements of engaging scholarly reviews, their place in academic work, and the ins and outs of writing for Reading Religion. The webinar included presentations and Q&A.

  • By Philipp Reisner

    13 May 2019

    Research in religion and literature has become increasingly diverse in recent years, with specializations extending well beyond classical fields such as Christian metaphysical and Islamic Sufi poetry. Many of the texts published between 2015 and 2019 can be grouped loosely into the subfields of “Poetry,” “The Bible,” “Other Sacred Texts,” and “Literature.”

  • By Vilmarie Vega

    24 October 2018

    This year’s American Academy of Religion annual meeting will host many panels focusing on books in the study of religion. Scholars from a wide variety of fields within religious studies will discuss these texts in depth, giving voice to diverse perspectives and delving into fascinating subjects.

  • By Courtney Applewhite

    3 October 2018

    Much of the study of NRMs is based in ethnographic work, but with older groups, scholars often turn to textual sources for analysis. The books on NRMs received at Reading Religion from 2015 through 2018 reflect a diversity in groups studied and methodology, but many of the books are focused on Mormonism, NRMs in the contemporary United States, and groups that are derivative from Abrahamic traditions.

  • By Courtney Applewhite

    31 August 2018

    Death and dying are human universals—death rituals, mourning, and grief manifest in cultures and religions throughout the world. As such, they provide a platform for cross-cultural comparison and should remain a central focus in our study of religion.

  • By Jeremy Hanes

    12 July 2018

    Religion in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka), informs the lives of the roughly 1.9 billion people who live there today. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are major players in South Asia, not to mention the Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—that have flourished there for centuries. Factoring in diasporic communities outside South Asia and converts to South Asian religions worldwide, the religions of the subcontinent have an enormous impact throughout the world.

  • By Francesca Chubb-Confer

    12 July 2018

    In the years after September 11, 2001, it has become practically impossible to talk about Islam—whether in the classroom, courtroom, or newsroom—without addressing stereotypical narratives of violent terrorism that permeate political and media discourse. Given this current climate of politicized fear, suspicion, and invective surrounding Islam and Muslims, it may be surprising to learn that the best-selling poet in the United States today is Jalāl al-dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, the famed 12th-century saint, poet, and Islamic scholar.

  • By Jeremy Hanes

    8 June 2018

    Here at Reading Religion we have reviews coming in from scholars, theologians, and oftentimes from artists, all discussing the importance of art in the study of religion. From the use of icons in Orthodox Christian traditions throughout history to the way contemporary artists engage with religions, we have something for every interest.

  • By Cynthia Eller

    28 October 2017

    When Reading Religion first began ramping up in January 2016, we noticed that there were an awful lot of books rolling in on Martin Luther. “What’s up with that?” we asked one another. We even discussed writing a feature noting this peculiar and abrupt rise of new works on the famed Reformer.