HISTORY 675 - Theorizing Religion
Section: 001 Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This seminar has three-fold aim:

  1. To orient students with diverse disciplinary orientations and regional specializations in the academic field of Religious Studies; to survey its history and review its current institutional and professional outlook particularly in North America;
  2. To consider several topics and domains where questions concerning religion have been particularly critical and productive in recent years;
  3. To explore optimal possibilities for research and teaching in the field today when the commonly received, essentialized notions of “religion” (in general) and “religions” (in the sense of any of the particular “–isms”) are increasingly under criticism.
Topics will include:

  • Theology, Biblical Studies, Religious Studies—Are they related? How?
  • “Theory and Method” Then and Now—How has the field of Religious Studies been telling its disciplinary history? How should it change?
  • Law and Religion—Is law secular? How has law been handling religion, especially in the US, UK, and EU courts?
  • Can Christianity (or any other “–ism”) be taught? How?
  • Should “World Religions” be taught?
  • What are possible parameters, or best practice in teaching introductory-level religion courses?

HISTORY 675 - Theorizing Religion
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Tu 6:00PM - 9:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0300216785
Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept, Author: Brent Nongbri, Publisher: Yale University Press 2013
ISBN: 019878600X
The Making of the Abrahamic Religions in Late Antiquity, Author: Guy Stroumsa, Publisher: Oxford University Press 2017
ISBN: 0691168407
Before and After Muhammad: The First Millennium Refocused, Author: Garth Fowden, Publisher: Princeton University Press 2014
ISBN: 0800662091
The ways that never parted : Jews and Christians in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Author: edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed., Publisher: Fortress Press 1st Fortre 2007
ISBN: 022608972X
An introduction to legal reasoning, Author: Edward H. Levi ; with a foreword by Frederick Schauer., Publisher: The University of Chicago Press 2013
ISBN: 0691130582
The impossibility of religious freedom, Author: Winnifred Fallers Sullivan., Publisher: Princeton University Press 2nd print. 2007
ISBN: 080069774X
The invention of the biblical scholar : a critical manifesto, Author: Stephen D. Moore and Yvonne Sherwood., Publisher: Fortress Press 2011
ISBN: 1107133025
The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions, Author: Lena Salaymeh, Publisher: Cambridge University Press 2016
ISBN: 0226509893
The invention of world religions : or, how European universalism was preserved in the language of pluralism, Author: Tomoko Masuzawa., Publisher: University of Chicago press 3. pr. 2005
ISBN: 0199859094
Nine theories of religion, Author: Daniel L. Pals, University of Miami. Third Edit 2014
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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