If religion is continually in a state of flux how can the study of religion critically examine contemporary religious beliefs and values? 'Representing Religion' critically examines this "crisis of representation". The volume traces the history of religious studies, critiquing the concept that "experience" is central to understanding religion. The views of influential semioticians and philosophers - notably Nietzsche, Saussure, Foucault, Barthes, and Bakhtin - are used to construct a new methodology for the critical study of religion. Representing Religion will be of interest to students and scholars of semiotics as well as theory and method in religious studies.
Introduction: The "Crisis of Representation" and the Study of Religion in Culture Part I Phenomenology, Consciousness, Essence: Critical Surveys of the History of the Study of Religion Chapter One: Religion, Self, and Culture: A Critique of William James's Psychological Approach in The Varieties of Religious Experience Religion Chapter Two: The Concept "Essence and Manifestation" in the History of the Study of Religion Chapter Three: The Concept "Entwicklung" in German Religionswissenshaft: Before and After Darwin Chapter Four: The Total Hermeneutics of the New Humanism: Mircea Eliade's Agenda for Religionswissenschaft Part II Towards a Nietzschean Semiotics of Religion Chapter Five: Nietzsche, Poststructuralism and the Phenomenology of Religion Chapter Six: Rhetoric, Substance, Subject Chapter Seven: Interpretation, Power, Text: From Subject to Subject Position Chapter Eight: Towards a Semiotic Theory of Religion Appendix I