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Title: Defining Religion: A Reader
Author: Murphy, Tim
Additional Authors or Contributors: (ed)
Publisher: Acumen Publishing; Publication Date: 2013
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781845530297
Volumes: 1; Pages: 416
List Price in Hardcover: $110.00 Our price: $89.99
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In the field of Religious Studies, the definition of the foundational category of "religion" has been, and continues to be, the object of much controversy. This controversy extends from the introductory course in Religious Studies, which invariably covers the many conflicting definitions of religion, to the highest levels of academic research and analysis-not merely in the field of Religious Studies, but in all fields of the humans sciences which deal with religion, Anthropology and Sociology in particular.
In addition to a faithful rendering of the traditional positions and historical sources for the definition of religion, this volume will offer a critical perspective which questions the existence and persistence of "religion" as a taken-for-granted taxon. The focus of the essays in the proposed volume, therefore, would not be limited to the specific question of how religion might be best defined, but would also focus on such issues as: (i) whether such definition is possible or even intellectually desirable; (ii) what the political, economic, and/or ideological preconditions might entailed in historical efforts to identify such a thing as "religion"; (iii) how such a category is constituted by specific historical discourses, both within the academy (such as the disciplines of the human sciences), and without (specifically, in situations of colonial contact).
Besides seeking to do the traditional work of a reader in covering its field of inquiry, this volume includes critical perspectives on the very constitution of that field. As such, it is has both historical breadth and contemporary relevance.
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