The Center
Contact Us

                Theories of Religion Project

Project Director | Project Overview |
Book Sections |Topical Overviews

Project Director

Richard King - Associate Professor of Religious Studies (A&S), Associate Professor of Religion and Culture in the Divinity School, and Senior Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture

Project Overview

The CSRC Theories of Religion publication project is being directed by CSRC Senior Research Fellow Richard King. This project produced a substantial textbook on theories of religion (forthcoming from Oxford University Press) that is accessible, comprehensive, inclusive of contributions from international specialists in their field, and cutting-edge in its thinking toward the future of studying religion. The book explores the classic "History of Religions" terrain but also seeks to engage contemporary cultural and critical theories of "religion" by offering an emphasis on the dynamic relationship between religions (as historically located institutions) and cultural forms and contemporary critical theories. Such an approach locates the study of religion firmly within an interdisciplinary space where the boundaries between disciplines and between categories (such as "religion," "culture," "the secular" etc.) are subjected to critical analysis. The inclusion of discussion of contemporary intellectual trends (the new wave of critical theories -- post-modernism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, queer theory), and the expectation that contributors will reflect on their impact upon theorizing about religion, render this a contemporary and cutting-edge project.

Book sections include:
-Religion/Critical Theory/Post-Structuralism

Topical Overviews include:
-A Brief History of the Category of "Religion"
-Debating the Roots of the Study of Religion
-Naturalistic theories of religion
-Theology and Religious Studies
-A Brief History of Hermeneutics
-The Modernist Rhetoric of Experience
-Cognitive Science and theories of religion
-Anglo-American Philosophy of religion
-Theories of Myth
-Religion as a Social Phenomenon
-Early Anthropologists of Religion
-Religion, Cultural Studies and Cultural Theory
-Ritual and Ritualization
-The Phenomenology of Religion
-Religion and the Body
-Gender and Theories of Religion
-Religion and Postcolonialism
-Critical Race Theory and Religion
-Religion and Theories of Globalization
-The Environmental Crisis and the Religions
-Religion and the Economy