This book offers a survey of the development of interdisciplinarity in religious studies within academia and offers ways for it to continue to progress in contemporary universities. It examines the use of the term ‘interdisciplinary’ in the context of the academic study of religion and how it shapes the way scholarly work in this field has developed.
The text uses two main elements to discuss religious studies as a field. Firstly, it looks at the history of the development of religious studies in academia, as seen through an interdisciplinary critique of the university as an epistemological project. It then uses the same interdisciplinary critique to develop a foundation for a 21st-century hermeneutic, one which uses the classical concepts reprised by that interdisciplinary critique and retools the field for the 21st century.
Setting out both the objects of religious studies as a subject and the techniques used to employ the study of those objects, this book offers an invaluable perspective on the progress of the field. It will, therefore, be of great use to scholars of research methods within religious studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Location, Positionality, and the Interdisciplinary Religious Studies Scholar
1 Locating the Academic Study of Religion: An Interdisciplinary Critique of the Epistemological Development of the University
2 Something Other than an "And" or an "Is": The Overlapping Domain of the Sacred-Profane
3 Sighting the Sacred Unseen: A Camouflaged Order Appears
4 Hierophany as an Interdisciplinary Concept
5 Summary: An Interdisciplinary Scholar Residing Inside the Academic Study of Religion
Brent Smith is an Associate Professor in the Liberal Studies Department at Grand Valley State University, USA.