1st Edition

Religion in 50 More Words A Redescriptive Vocabulary

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    Religion in 50 More Words: A Redescriptive Vocabulary provides a succinct historical, social, and political examination of some of the key words used in the modern study of religion. Differing from the first volume’s more theoretical focus, this volume analyzes more common first order descriptive terms that are used throughout the field, inviting readers to theorize their traditional vocabulary. Topics covered include:

    • Atheism/Theism

    • Conversion

    • Cult

    • Evil

    • Fundamentalism

    • Idol

    • Magic

    • Pilgrimage

    • Ritual

    • Sacrifice

    Religion in 50 More Words submits such terms to a critical interrogation and subsequent redescription. This paves the way for a collective and more critical reframing of the field. The volume, along with Religion in 50 Words, provides an indispensable resource for students and academics working in the field of religious studies and cognate disciplines.

    Introduction: A User’s Guide

    1. Afterlife

    2. Animism

    3. Atheism/Theism

    4. Church

    5. Civil Religion

    6. Commentary

    7. Conversion

    8. Creation/Endtimes

    9. Cult

    10. Dialogue

    11. East/West

    12. Emic/Etic

    13. Evil

    14. Founder

    15. Fundamentalism

    16. God

    17. Hagiography

    18. Icon

    19. Idol

    20. Immanence/Transcendence

    21. Initiation

    22. Liberation

    23. Magic

    24. Meditation

    25. Monotheism/Polytheism

    26. Myth

    27. Mysticism

    28. Nones

    29. Paganism

    30. Piety

    31. Pilgrimage

    32. Prayer

    33. Priest/Prophet

    34. Reformation

    35. Renunciation

    36. Ritual

    37. Sacrifice

    38. Salvation

    39. Sect

    40. Sexuality

    41. Shamanism

    42. Soul

    43. Spirituality

    44. Symbol

    45. Syncretism

    46. Theology

    47. Totem

    48. Tradition

    49. Understanding

    50. Value


    Aaron W. Hughes is the Philip S. Bernstein Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester, USA.

    Russell T. McCutcheon is University Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, USA.

    "Religion in 50 More Words marks a turning point in the academic study of religion. Aaron Hughes and Russell McCutcheon offer both scholars and the general public a comprehensive and provocative entrée into the challenging theories that are fundamentally altering the way ‘religion’ is conceived and treated both in universities and in settings that determine public policy. In clear, substantial and detailed discussions, the authors show that religion and the vocabulary related to the term do not refer to mysterious, universal and timeless principles, but rather point to compelling contingencies of history, power and politics. This is a book that will shake up a field in serious need of renewal."

    Naomi Goldenberg, University of Ottawa, Canada.

    "While their first volume interrogated critical themes and theories within the academic study of religion, this book tackles the field’s many attempts (and failures) at establishing a lingua franca. This second testament, which can be read alone or as a companion to the first volume, outlines the often-overlooked histories, uses, and effects of words commonly deployed by students and scholars of religion. Rather than offering their readers a definitive summary, Hughes and McCutcheon provide us with the tools to take up a clearer understanding and more precise application of those concepts and terms that punctuate the academic study of religion."

    Rebekka King, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

    "In this volume, two well-known scholars of the critical study of religion take readers on a journey through familiar terms on religion, shaking up many certainties. The result is an equally thought-provoking as entertaining read!"

    Anne Koch, University College of Education, Linz, Austria.