Failure and Nerve in the Academic Study of Religion presents a provocative critique of the unwillingness of modern scholars to publically distinguish research into comparative religion from confessional studies written within denominationally-affiliated institutions. The book offers the 19th Century founders of the study of religion as a bracing corrective to contemporary timidity. The issue was analysed and documented by Wiebe a quarter of a century ago. Here, marking Wiebe's work, a wide range of contributors reassess the methodology and ambition of contemporary religious research. The book argues that conceptualizing religion as part of the world of human action and experience is the first requirement of the study of religion.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. The Nerve of Donald Wiebe Luther H. Martin, University of Vermont 2. The Failure of Nerve in the Academic Study of Religion Donald Wiebe, Trinity College, University of Toronto General Failures 3. Catching Up with Marx: Truth, Myth, and the Niceties of "Belief" Matthew Day, Florida State University 4. Fixed Geomorphologies and the Shifting Sands of Time Darlene Juschka, University of Regina 5. A Critical History of Religion as a Psychological Phenomenon Janet Klippenstein, University of Alberta 6. Everything Old is New Again Russell T. McCutcheon 7. Revisiting the Confessional: Donald Wiebe's "Small 'c' Confessional," Its Historical Entailments and Linguistic Entanglements Johannes C. Wolfart, Carleton University Special Failures 8. Failures (of Nerve?) in the Study of Islamic Origins Herbert Berg, University of North Carolina at Wilmington 9. The Failure of Islamic Studies Post-9/11: A Contextualization and Analysis Aaron W. Hughes, State University of New York at Buffalo 10. Religious Studies that Really Schmecks: Introducing Food to the Academic Study of Religion Michel Desjardins, Wilfrid Laurier University 11. Cultural Anthropology and Corinthian Food Fights: Structure and History in the Lord's Dinner John W. Parrish, Brown University 12. The Identity of Q in the First Century: Reproducing a Theological Narrative Sarah E. Rollens, University of Toronto 13. The Failure of Nerve to Recognize Violence in Early Christianity: The Case of the Parable of the Assassin Thomas Nicholas Schonhoffer, University of Toronto 14. Redescribing Iconoclasm: Holey Frescoes and Identity Formation Vaia Touna, University of Alberta In Lieu of Conclusion 15. The Irony of Religion William Arnal and Willi Braun
William Arnal is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Willi Braun is Professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, Canada. Russell T. McCutcheon is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama.