Introducing Religion: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Z.Smith

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-08
  • Publisher: Routledge
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To mark the contribution of one of the most influential theorists of religion, thirty-one leading scholars of religion from around the world put their minds together to work on problems of introducing "religion": as a category of human social practices, as a term that must be subject to scholarly theorizing, as a subject that must be carefully presented to students in the classroom. The claim of this volume is that the disciplined, cross-cultural and comparative study and teaching of religion in the academy is closely tied to the multi-level task of "introducing" (in the Latin sense of introducere) religion, of taking religion inside the academic discourses in the humanities and social sciences, of taking students - whether career academics or college students - inside religion as a set of ordinary human practices rather than initiating them into a sanctum of extraordinary knowledge about extraordinary things.

Table of Contents

List of Contributorsp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Introducing Smithp. 1
Cargo Cult Science and the Study of Religions: Genealogy in an Age of Globalizationp. 18
Redescribing Mandalas: A Test Case in Bodh Gaya, Indiap. 40
The Gospel of Mark as Reflection on Exile and Identityp. 57
"Map-Maker, Map-Maker, Make Me a Map": Redescribing Greco-Roman "Elective Social Formations"p. 68
Belief: A Classificatory Lacuna and Disciplinary "Problem"p. 85
An Occasion for Thoughtp. 100
Comparing Prayer: On Science, Universals, and the Human Conditionp. 113
On How Making Differences Makes a Differencep. 140
Deconstructing the Eliadean Paradigm: Symbolp. 163
Comparison: Categories, Methods, and Mischiefs-The Case of the Gospel of Judasp. 178
Insiders and Outsiders: Studying Hinduism Non-Religiously?p. 192
Smith, Derrida, and Amosp. 208
Imagination Bound and Unboundp. 231
Telling the Truth Can Be Dangerous Businessp. 241
Finding One's Place: Magic, Science, Religion, and Interdisciplinarityp. 252
Is it Meaningful to Speak of a Greco-Roman Diaspora Judaism? A Case Study in Taxonomical Issues in the Study of Ancient Judaismp. 267
Think Globally, Get Death Threats Locally: The Politics of Studying Hinduismp. 282
Sacred Persistence?p. 296
Do Rituals Do? And How Do They Do It? Cognition and the Study of Ritualp. 325
Reader as Producer: Jonathan Z. Smith on Exegesis, Ingenuity, Elaborationp. 311
Re: Paulp. 340
Rabbi Jeremiahp. 358
Maps, Genealogy, and Difference: Towards Recognition of our Ambulatory Naturep. 377
Hominibus vagis vitam: The Wandering of Homo Hellenisticus in an Age of Transformationp. 388
Connecting with Evolutionary Models: New Patterns in Comparative Religion?p. 406
What a Difference Theory Makesp. 418
The Ontology of Religionp. 434
Comparing Law Comparing Religionp. 450
The Scientific Study of Religion and Its Cultured Despisersp. 467
Introducting Religionp. 480
Index of Authorsp. 499
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