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Key Thinkers in the Study of Religion


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Jonathan Z. Smith on Religion

Jonathan Z. Smith on Religion

1st Edition

By Christopher I. Lehrich
December 31, 2020

Jonathan Z. Smith (1938–2017) was unquestionably one of the most important and influential voices of critical reflection within the academic study of religion in the last century. His work explored the nature and history of religious phenomena across cultures—from ancient Jewish practices to Maori ...

Dumont on Religion Difference, Comparison, Transgression

Dumont on Religion: Difference, Comparison, Transgression

1st Edition

By Ivan Strenski
September 15, 2016

Louis Dumont was a prominent anthropologist and sociologist whose work - notably on Indian society - influenced the study of religion. 'Dumont on Religion' introduces Dumont's work on kinship studies, structural theory, and his views on idealism. Subjects of particular interest to students of ...

Jacob Neusner on Religion The Example of Judaism

Jacob Neusner on Religion: The Example of Judaism

1st Edition

By Aaron W Hughes
November 18, 2015

Jacob Neusner was a prolific and innovative contributor to the study of religion for over fifty years. A scholar of rabbinic Judaism, Neusner regarded Jewish texts as data to address larger questions in the academic study of religion that he helped to formulate. Jacob Neusner on Religion offers the...

Bastide on Religion The Invention of Candomble

Bastide on Religion: The Invention of Candomble

1st Edition

By Michel Despland
August 08, 2014

Roger Bastide developed the theory of acculturation which provides a framework for understanding contact between different cultures and beliefs. 'Bastide on Religion' offers a clear introduction to the life and work of this influential scholar. The volume focuses on Bastide's study of ...

Bourdieu on Religion Imposing Faith and Legitimacy

Bourdieu on Religion: Imposing Faith and Legitimacy

1st Edition

By Terry Rey
August 08, 2014

Pierre Bourdieu was one of the most influential social theorists of our time. He developed a series of concepts to uncover the way society works and to challenge assumptions about what society is. His ideas illuminate how individuals and groups find value and meaning and so have rapidly come to be ...

Derrida on Religion Thinker of Differance

Derrida on Religion: Thinker of Differance

1st Edition

By Dawne McCance
August 14, 2014

Jacques Derrida is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. His thinking has radically transformed scholarship and critical practice across the Humanities and Social Sciences. 'Derrida on Religion' offers students an overview of Derrida's many influential ...

Levi-Strauss on Religion The Structuring Mind

Levi-Strauss on Religion: The Structuring Mind

1st Edition

By Paul-Francois Tremlett
August 14, 2014

Levi-Strauss, the 'father of modern anthropology', is one of the most influential thinkers of the Twentieth Century. His development of 'structuralism' - the identification of patterns of human cognition and behaviour - greatly influenced Althusser, Lacan, Foucault and Derrida. -Levi-Strauss on ...

Ernesto De Martino on Religion The Crisis and the Presence

Ernesto De Martino on Religion: The Crisis and the Presence

1st Edition

By Dr. Fabrizio M. Ferrari
August 08, 2014

Ernesto de Martino was a major critical thinker in the study of vernacular religions, producing innovative analyses of key concepts such as 'folklore', 'magic' and 'ritual'. His methodology stemmed from his training under the philosopher Benedetto Croce whilst his philosophical approach to ...

Freud on Religion

Freud on Religion

1st Edition

By Marsha Aileen Hewitt
August 08, 2014

Freud argued that religions originate in the unconscious needs, longings and fantasies of human minds. His work has served to highlight how any analysis of religion must explore mental life, both the cognitive and the unconscious. 'Freud on Religion' examines Freud's complex understanding of ...

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