A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion  book cover
3rd Edition

A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion

  • Available for pre-order on May 11, 2023. Item will ship after June 1, 2023
ISBN 9781032190471
June 1, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion introduces the key concepts and theories from religious studies that are necessary for a full understanding of the complex ways in which religious and cultural institutions and traditions influence society.

The book provides readers with an arsenal of critical concepts for studying religious ideologies, practices, and communities. This edition has been thoroughly revised and now includes a new chapter on ‘Belief’, a rewritten chapter on ‘Essentialism’, and has been restructured to clearly emphasize key topics including:

  • Problems with the concepts of "religion" and "belief systems"
  • Functionalism and Classification
  • Essentialism, Socialization, and Habitus
  • Legitimation, Authority, and Authenticity

All ideas and theories are clearly illustrated, with contemporary and engaging examples and case studies throughout. It’s an essential text for all students approaching the subject area for the first time.

Table of Contents

1. Religion

2. Belief

3. Functionalism

4. Classification

5. Essentialism

6. Structure

7. Habitus

8. Legitimation

9. Authority

10. Authenticity

Case Study: What Would Jesus Do?




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Craig Martin is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, USA.