Modernism and Postmodernism in the Study of Religion

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


The three books selected for discussion are representative of attempts in the last decade to engage directly and critically the issue of "religion" and how we study it. In a field that is constantly resounding with litanies of alarm — works cited in this article, for example, describe a "crisis of identity," methodological "impasse," theoretical "malaise," or simply a field "in trouble" — these works stand out as particularly ambitious attempts to re-examine the way we reflect on religion. Since only one of them is recently published and all have been adequately reviewed, my purpose here is to focus explicitly on their challenge to the study of religion in general, ignoring to a great extent most of their more specific arguments and contributions.

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