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The category “religion” is a tripartite, emergent from Christian theology during modernity, as Christianity increased, transcended, and diminished, and persistent in contemporary religious studies and Christian theology. With the postmodern and postcolonial “return of religion”: the...
This essay makes explicit what lay behind the author's earlier casual observation that “Tillich remains the unacknowledged theoretician of our entire enterprise”—whether in the AAR or in North American studies of religion more generally. While the article does not make a narrowly (i.e.,...
Over the past twenty years, many Latin American liberation theologians concede a loss of initiative in shaping their societies. While insisting that God acts in history on the basis of a “preferential option for the poor,” they admit it has made little practical difference. I attribute this...
Several scholars have recently argued that the concept of “religion” is manufactured, constructed, invented, or imagined, but does not correspond to an objective reality, “out there” in the world. This paper seeks to evaluate that critique. I argue that the critique is composed of three...
In this essay, I argue that recent calls to take religion seriously are less about taking religion seriously and more about avoiding conflict. Thus rather than being an antidote to secular liberalism, such calls are, instead, an insidious reinscription of a secular liberal assumption, i.e., that...
This paper offers a Kantian diagnosis of the tension between the apparent resurgence of religion world-wide and the widespread scholarly suspicion of the general term “religion.” It places the tension within an account of concepts that makes unavoidable a drive toward both universality and...
This essay explains several aspects of the intellectual and political environment in which Islamic studies came of age and became a field of study in America during the last four decades. It describes a time in which Orientalism came under attack and Islamist activism came into Western public...
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