Can One Be a Critical Caretaker?

Can One Be a Critical Caretaker? © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157006807X243098 Method and Th eory in the Study of Religion 19 (2007) 332-342 M E T H O D T H E O R Y in the S T U D Y O F R E L I G I O N & Can One Be a Critical Caretaker? Michael Slater University of Oregon, Department of Religious Studies, 1294 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1294 Email: Abstract Th ere is a movement in the field of religious studies today which questions whether scholars of religion should have any interest in questions regarding the truth and value of religion. In this paper I critically examine the views of one of its leading figures, Russell T. McCutcheon, and argue that his views on the nature and study of religion are problematic in several key respects. Specifically, I argue that McCutcheon’s basic methodological and theoretical claims are unten- able, as is his well known distinction between “critics” and “caretakers” of religion. Having called into question McCutcheon’s claim that being a critical scholar of religion is incompatible with being a “caretaker” of religion, I conclude with a brief reflection on his corollary claim Method & Theory in the Study of Religion Brill

Can One Be a Critical Caretaker?

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© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
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