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Description - The Discipline of Religion by Russell T. McCutcheon

What exactly is 'religious studies'? Does it seek to explain the nature of divinity, or take critical issue with matters of faith? Does it free us from belief, or perpetuate God as a legitimate (and thus realistic) object of study? Does it challenge orthodoxies or sustain them? The Discipline of Religion is a lively critical journey through religious studies today, looking at its recent growth as an academic discipline, and its contemporary political and social meaning. Focusing on the differences between religious belief and academic religious discourse, Russell T. McCutcheon argues that the invention of religion as a discipline is both self-justifying and self-normalising, blurring the distinction between criticism and doctrine in its assertion of the relevance of faith as a credible object of study. In the implicit leap from disciplinary criticism to avowal of actual cosmic and moral meaning, schools of religious studies extend their powers far beyond universities and into the everyday lives of those outside. Through discursive concepts of faith, spirit, conscience, evil, experience, hope, nature and truth, the discipline of religion permits techniques of social policing and self-management to be interpreted as urges of interior faith

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415274906
ISBN-10: 0415274907
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 1-May-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Russell T. McCutcheon

RUSSELL T. MCCUTCHEON is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He is author of Manufacturing Religion (1997) and Critics Not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion (2001), editor of The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion (1999), and co-editor with Willi Braun of Guide to the Study of Religion (2000).

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