The History of the Study of Religion





The purpose of this seminar is to reflect on the study of religion as an intellectual task. We will engage texts in the study of religion to think with them about what is “religion,” how do we think about our own relationship to what we study, and what is at stake in defining “religion.” How do broader socio-political realities impact the study of religion? What are the risks and responsibilities in the scholarly descriptions of the religious practices of others? This course is not a survey of all important texts, authors, or methods in the field. Rather it will teach students about the rich and complex conversations in this area and help them articulate their place within it.