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The Study of Religion


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Table of Contents

Illustrations Website Introduction 1. Tools of the Trade 2. Methodology in Religious Studies 3. Insiders and Outsiders 4. Does Size Matter? 5. Key Figures in the Study of Religion 6. Phenomenology and its Critics 7. Colonialism and Post-colonialism in the Study of Religion 8. Authenticity and Diversity 9. Fieldwork in the Study of Religion 10. Religion and Gender 11. The Question of Truth 12. The Internet as a Resource in the Study of Religion Bibliography Index

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This updated textbook equips students with an understanding of the theory and methodology of studying religion as an academic discipline, designed for introductory courses.

About the Author

George D. Chryssides is Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion at the University of Birmingham, UK. Ron Geaves is Professor of the Comparative Study of Religion at Liverpool Hope University, UK.


The material is designed to be accessible, with chapters carefully structured, supported by illustrative material and discussion points. Some chapters include case studies and suggestions for further reading. * Journal of Contemporary Religion *
This book is certainly a very valuable introduction to the key concepts in the wide field of the study of religion, and provides the student with a broad range of starting points for further in-depth study. * De Numine *
As an introduction to theory and method in the study of religions, Chryssides and Geaves have broken new ground. I strongly commend it as a primary source to be included within programmes in the academic study of religions. * James L Cox, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK, of the first edition *
The authors have provided an outstanding companion to the study of religion. While this is an accessible volume that will be welcomed by students and their teachers, it is also a remarkably comprehensive work, rooted in careful scholarship and a prodigious theoretical and empirical knowledge of the field. Those of us teaching religious studies will be indebted to the authors for many years to come. * Christopher Partridge, Professor of Religious Studies, Lancaster University, UK, of the first edition *
This updated edition of The Study of Religion is excellent. The book offers a full, detailed, scrupulously balanced presentation and assessment - not of religions themselves but of approaches to the study of religion. The approaches considered range from classical to recent. The writing is exceptionally clear and precise. The many blocked-off examples from actual religions bring the theorizing down to earth. Unlike so many other books that tout the same claim, this book is genuinely written for students who come knowing little about religion. A terrific volume. * Robert A. Segal, Sixth Century Chair in Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen, UK and editor of The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion *
This book offers an excellent introduction to the academic study of mankind's quest for meaning and transcendence. It constantly invites students and other readers to reflect on their own positions and presuppositions in approaching the multi-coloured phenomenon of religion. * Peter Nissen, Professor of Spirituality Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands *
George D. Chryssides and Ron Geaves have produced a volume with a number of significant differences to the usual run of the mill textbook. This book is distinguished by its admirable clarity of language, which renders even complex methodological debates clear and relevant, and its wide-ranging case studies and examples of religions old and new, mainstream and fringe. It is highly recommended to both senior high school students and undergraduates in general religious studies programmes, and in social and cultural studies. * Carole M. Cusack, Professor of Religious Studies Chair Studies in Religion, University of Sydney, Australia *
The book's outstanding introductory chapter provides a gateway for discussing the various dimensions of the study of religion. Overall, The Study of Religion 2nd edition is an excellent resource and contribution to the field. -- Stuart Sarbacker, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Oregon State University, USA
The Study of Religion 2nd edition is a very good book. Topics such as Gender and Religion and Field Work are becoming more and more important to the undergraduate students. The insider/outsider will make an important addition to the fieldwork chapter, and it is becoming a key issue, particularly with Islamic studies scholars, making the "insider" scholars in Christianity face this issue themselves. -- Carolyn J. Medine, University of Georgia, USA
Whether you are about to embark or are already on board for the academic study of religion, this work would be a most valuable and informative guide on that journey. At the helm are two experienced scholars in the field who have combined forces to provide all the necessary background, questions, tips, and tools for your studies. -- Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Professor and Head of Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

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