The Discipline of Religion is a lively critical journey through religious studies today, looking at its recent growth as an academic discipline, and its contemporary political and social meanings. Focusing on the differences between religious belief and academic religious discourse, Russell T. McCutcheon argues that the invention of religion as a discipline blurs the distinction between criticism and doctrine in its assertion of the relevance of faith as a credible object of study. In the leap from disciplinary criticism to avowal of actual cosmic and moral meaning, schools of religious studies extend their powers far beyond universities and into the everyday lives of those outside, managing and curtailing specific types of speech and dissent.
RUSSELL T. MCCUTCHEON is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He is author of Manufacturing Religion (1997) and Critics Not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion (2001), editor of The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion (1999), and co-editor with Willi Braun of Guide to the Study of Religion (2000).
' ... as a contribution to meta-theory The Discipline of Religion is a well-argued and thought-provoking book.' - Numen