New in the NAASR Working Papers Series:
Brad Stoddard (editor). Method Today: Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion (Equinox Publishing, 2018).
Thirty or forty years ago, the phrase “method and theory” in Religious Studies scholarship referred to more social scientific approaches to the study of religion, as opposed to the more traditional theological hermeneutics common to the field. Today, however, it seems that everyone claims to do “theory and method,” including those people who shun social scientific approaches the academic study of religion.
Method Today brings together the contributions of scholars from a recent North American Association for the Study of Religion conference to explore the question of what it means to do “theory and method” in an era where the phrase has no distinct meaning. Contributors specifically address the categories of description, interpretation, comparison, and explanation in Religious Studies scholarship.
Find out more and purchase HERE.
We are pleased to announce the first facilitators for the NAASR Job Market Workshop at this year’s annual meeting in Denver.
Jason Blum and Laura Levitt will be leading our small group sessions on Sunday, November 18. The workshop is divided into three main sessions over the course of the afternoon.
- Workshop/Small Groups 1:00-2:00 pm
- Q&A/Discussion 2:00-3:00 pm
- Networking and Conversation 3:00-4:30 pm
Space is limited to 25 participants in this NAASR workshop, and participants can stay for as long or as little as they like. To register, please e-mail the organizer, Michael Graziano (grazmike [at] gmail [dot] com) by no later than October 15, 2018. In this request to register please include your current degree or professional career stage.
You can find more info about the workshop, including the CFP, HERE.
Willi Braun and Russell T. McCutcheon (editors). Reading J. Z. Smith: Interviews & Essay (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Over the course of a career of more than forty years, Jonathan Z. Smith was among the most important voices of critical reflection within the academic study of religion, distinguishing himself as perhaps the most influential theorist of religion of the last half century. Among his significant body of work are essays and lectures on teaching and the essential role of academic scholarship on religion in matters of education and public policy. The interviews and essay published here display something of the dynamic, thinking-on-his feet liveliness that Smith brought to questions about the study of religion, his theoretical preferences, and his methods of teaching. With refreshing candidness and clarity, Reading J.Z. Smith offers an often provocative introduction to discussions on issues that still dominate the complex and continually changing critical conversations in the academic study of religion.
Mitsutoshi Horii. The Category of ‘Religion’ in Contemporary Japan: Shūkyō and Temple Buddhism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
This book critically examines the term ‘religion’ (shūkyō) as a social category within the sociological context of contemporary Japan. Whereas the nineteenth-century construction of shūkyō has been critically studied by many, the same critical approach has not been extended to the contemporary context of the Japanese-language discourse on shūkyō and Temple Buddhism. This work aims to unveil the norms and imperatives which govern the utilization of the term shūkyō in the specific context of modern day Japan, with a particular focus upon Temple Buddhism. The author draws on a number of popular publications in Japanese, many of which have been written by Buddhist priests. In addition, the book offers rich interview material from conversations with Buddhist priests.
Readers will gain insights into the critical deconstruction, the historicization, and the study of social classification system of ‘religion’, in terms of its cross-cultural application to the contemporary Japanese context. The book will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines including Japanese Studies, Buddhology, Religious Studies, Social Anthropology, and Sociology.
The Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 47.1 (2018) has been published online. NAASR Members have access to Bulletin online resources. To become a member or renew your membership, go to our website. Be sure to fill out the online form in addition to sending your payment (Paypal links are on the site). Then, enjoy your membership benefits by perusing the new issue.
Table of contents
Fleeting Sentiment of the Sacred: Between Public Space and Religious Territories
The Fleeting Emotional Unity of French Protestantism in Ephemeral Spaces
Visiting the Holy Sepulchre: Is Emotion Permitted?
Luther H. Martin (author), Panayotis Pachis (editor). Studies in Hellenistic Religions (Cascade Books, 2018).
This selection of essays by Luther Martin brings together studies from throughout his career—both early as well as more recent—in the various areas of Graeco-Roman religions, including mystery cults, Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism. It is hoped that these studies, which represent spatial, communal, and cognitive approaches to the study of ancient religions might be of interest to those concerned with the structures and dynamics of religions past in general, as well as to scholars who might, with more recent historical research, confirm, evaluate, extend, or refute the hypotheses offered here, for that is the way scholars work and by which scholarship proceeds.