1st Edition

After World Religions Reconstructing Religious Studies

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    The World Religions Paradigm has been the subject of critique and controversy in Religious Studies for many years. After World Religions provides a rationale for overhauling the World Religions curriculum, as well as a roadmap for doing so. The volume offers concise and practical introductions to cutting-edge Religious Studies method and theory, introducing a wide range of pedagogical situations and innovative solutions. An international team of scholars addresses the challenges presented in their different departmental, institutional, and geographical contexts. Instructors developing syllabi will find supplementary reading lists and specific suggestions to help guide their teaching. Students at all levels will find the book an invaluable entry point into an area of ongoing scholarly debate.

    Contributors. Preface—Christopher R. Cotter & David G. Robertson. Foreword. Before the 'After' in 'After World Religions': Wilfred Cantwell Smith on the Meaning and End of Religion.—James L. Cox. 1. Introduction: The ‘World Religions’ Paradigm in Contemporary Religious Studies—Christopher R. Cotter & David G. Robertson. PART I: SUBVERSIVE PEDAGOGIES: DATA AND METHODS. 2. The Problem of ‘Religions’: Teaching Against the Grain with ‘New Age Stuff’—Steven J. Sutcliffe. 3. Not a Task for Amateurs’: Graduate Instructors and Critical Theory in the World Religions Classroom—Tara Baldrick-Morrone, Michael Graziano and Brad Stoddard. 4. The Critical Embrace: Teaching the World Religion Paradigm as Data—Steven Ramey. PART II: ALTERNATIVE PEDAGOGIES: POWER AND POLITICS. 5. Religion as Ideology: Recycled Culture vs. World Religions—Craig Martin. 6. Doing Things with ‘Religion’: A Discursive Approach in Rethinking the World Religions Paradigm—Teemu Taira. 7. Looking Back on the End of Religion: Opening Re Marx—Paul-Francois Tremlett. 8. The Sacred Alternative—Suzanne Owen. PART III: INNOVATIVE PEDAGOGIES: METHODS AND MEDIA. 9. The Desjardins Diet for World Religions Paradigm Loss—Michel Desjardins. 10. Narrating the USA’s Religious Pluralism: Escaping World Religions through Media—David W. McConeghy. 11. Archaeology and the 'World Religions' Paradigm: The European Neolithic, Religion, and Cultural Imperialism—Carole M. Cusack. 12. Complex Learning and the World Religions Paradigm: Teaching Religion in a Shifting Subject Landscape—Dominic Corrywright. Afterword: On Utility and Limits—Russell T. McCutcheon. Notes. Bibliography. Index.


    Christopher R. Cotter is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Religious Studies Project and Co-Director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, as well as Honorary Treasurer of the British Association for the Study of Religions.

    David G. Robertson is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Religious Studies Project and Bulletin Editor for the British Association for the Study of Religion. He teaches at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

    "This book will give a fresh impetus to debate in religious studies and religious education journals, and further volumes exploring the issues will appear as a result."

    Timothy Fitzgerald, University of Stirling, Scotland

    "After World Religions offers practical guidance both for complicating the "World Religions" model in pedagogical contexts and for rethinking the introductory course altogether. The chapters of After World Religions are an excellent tool box for those instructors (both young and old) looking to break out of what is increasingly regarded as a deeply problematic paradigm."

    Brent Nongbri, Macquarie University, Australia