This book examines the significance of religion in the work of the twentieth century philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. Exploring Bakhtin’s contribution to debates on methodology in the study of religion, this book argues that his use of religious terminology is derived from his source material in philosophy of religion and not from his confessional commitment to Russian Orthodox Christianity. Critiquing Gavin Flood’s important work Beyond Phenomenology, Hilary Bagshaw explains how Bakhtin’s work on ’outsideness’ presents invaluable insights for scholars of religion, particularly pertinent to the contemporary insider/outsider debate.
Dr Bagshaw has recently completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Sheffield’s Bakhtin Centre. Her Master’s degree was in Oriental and African Religions at SOAS, where she was introduced to Bakhtin’s ideas and developed her interest in methodology in the study of religion.
’Hilary Bagshaw has undertaken two somewhat daunting tasks: first, establishing the originality of Mikhail Bakhtin in relation to his philosophical sources; secondly, finely calibrating how far this surplus of novelty could help to resolve the dialectic of ’inside’ and ’outside’ views in the academic study of religion. As she drives towards her highly focused and convincing conclusion, so we find Bakhtin growing beyond the Bakhtin we thought we knew and speaking to us afresh. Bakhtin scholars no less than students of religion will greatly benefit from Bagshaw’s work.’ Graham Pechey, University of Cambridge, UK '... offers readers a thoughtful, well-researched, and illuminating account of a Bakhtin we have not previously encountered.' Russian Review ’Many readers will find much of value in Hilary Bagshaw’s interesting book, which shows a real appreciation of Bakhtin’s thought. It is carefully composed throughout and draws together a wide range of sources. The student of Bakhtin requires a diversity of approaches to draw close to him, and this book will be a contribution to the field.’ Journal of Religious Studies ’[Bagshaw’s] study is thoroughly researched and advances insight into which intellectual movements and schools informed the development of Bakhtin’s key ideas.’ Theologische Literaturzeitung