Latest Issue: Vol 47, No 2 (2018): Bulletin for the Study of Religion RSS2 logo

Bulletin for the Study of Religion

Editor
Philip L. Tite, University of Washington

Managing Editor
Arlene MacDonald, University of Texas Medical Branch

Book Review Editor
Adam T Miller, University of Chicago

Blog Editors
Matt K Sheedy, University of Manitoba
Stacie Swain, University of Ottawa

The Bulletin began life in 1971 as the CSSR Bulletin when it was published by the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion (CSSR). In 2009 the Council disbanded and the journal moved to Equinox. It remains affiliated with the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR), a CSSR successor and NAASR members receive The Bulletin as part of their annual membership. 
The Bulletin publishes articles that address religion in general, the history of the field of religious studies, method and theory in the study of religion, and pedagogical practices. Articles featured in the Bulletin cover diverse religious traditions from any time period (from ancient religions to new religious movements), but are typically distinguished by their social scientific methods (e.g., historical, sociological, anthropological, cognitive scientific) or critical theory apparatus (i.e., post-colonialist, post-structuralist, neo-marxist). The Bulletin is unique in that it offers a forum for various academic voices to debate and reflect on the ever-changing state of the field, and insofar as it encourages scholars continually to engage meta-level questions at the leading edge of inquiry.

Since 2010 (volume 39), the Bulletin has been published in print and online, with a print frequency of 4 issues per volume. The associated Bulletin Blog has been active since 2010 and has approximately 2,500 followers.

 

Abstracted/Indexed by:

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Publication Frequency (Print Edition)
March, June, September and December

ISSN: 2041-1863 (Print)
ISSN: 2041-1871 (Online)


Editorial Address
Philip Tite
c/o Equinox Publishing Ltd
Office 415, The Workstation
15 Paternoster Row
Sheffield, S1 2BX
UK

Recent Blog Entries

 

Studying Religion in the Age of a ‘White-Lash’

by Tenzan Eaghll On the evening of November 9, 2016, as Trump’s victory over Clinton seemed inevitable, CNN commentator Van Jones made a statement that would prove true not only about the results at the polls, but the many things … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-08-10More...
 

On Byzantine Apocrypha and Erotapokriseis Literature

by Tony Burke This post originally appeared on the author’s blog. As I work through the contributions to the second volume of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, I am struck by how many of them are related to a … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-08-06More...
 

Discourses of Religion and the Non-Religious/Secular in Islamic Contexts: Call for Expressions of Interest

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST Proposed New Network: Discourses of Religion and the Non-Religious/Secular in Islamic Contexts Please send expressions of interest to Dr Alex Henley (alex.henley@theology.ox.ac.uk). A critical school has emerged in the Study of Religion that identifies the … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-08-01More...
 

A Review of Emily Ogden’s Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism

Editor’s note: Bulletin Book Reviews is the newly developed book review portal for the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, associated with NAASR and published by Equinox. We are interested in reviewing titles of wide relevance to the academic study of religion, … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-07-26More...
 

Name it and Disclaim it: A Tool for Better Discussion in Religious Studies

by Joseph P. Laycock and Natasha L. Mikles Anyone who has led discussion in an introductory undergraduate Religious Studies class has experienced frustrating comments from students such as, “Jews practice empty ritual,” or “Buddhists are more spiritual than other religions.” … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-05-24More...
 

So You’re Not a Priest? Scholars Explain What They Do To Outsiders: Merinda Simmons

In this series with the Bulletin, we ask scholars to talk about how they describe what they do to outsiders by sharing a story or two, and reflect on how this has affected their identity as scholars of religion. For other … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-05-02More...
 

So You’re Not a Priest? Scholars Explain What They Do to Outsiders: James Crossley

In this series with the Bulletin, we ask scholars to talk about how they describe what they do to outsiders by sharing a story or two, and reflect on how this has affected their identity as scholars of religion. For other … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-04-20More...
 

CFP: Sovereignty & Strangeness Graduate Conference, Northwestern Department of Religious Studies

The Northwestern Department of Religious Studies graduate students invite young scholars to submit paper proposals for “Sovereignty & Strangeness,” a graduate conference to be held October 19-21, 2018 in Evanston, IL. Proposals are due May 6, 2018. You can get … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-04-17More...
 

So You’re Not a Priest? Scholars Explain What They Do to Outsiders: Sher Afgan Tareen

In this series with the Bulletin, we ask scholars to talk about how they describe what they do to outsiders by sharing a story or two, and reflect on how this has affected their identity as scholars of religion. For other … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-04-13More...
 

So You’re Not a Priest? Scholars Explain What They Do to Outsiders: Zachary Braiterman

In this series with the Bulletin, we ask scholars to talk about how they describe what they do to outsiders by sharing a story or two, and reflect on how this has affected their identity as scholars of religion. For other … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-04-10More...
 

Recent Articles

 

On Theory (as Pedagogy) in a Time of Excess: Asking Questions in 2017

Drawing on the articles collected by Aaron W. Hughes in the newly published "Theory in a Time of Excess", this article argues that critical theory in religion has an important role to play in the public sphere of 2017. This is particularly true if scholars take seriously the suggestion of several of the authors in this edited volume, that critical theory in the study of religion must consist of the constant questioning both of specific theories, and of the social, political, and historical paradigm in which both theories and methods are chosen by scholars.
Posted: 2018-07-13More...
 

Philosophy for Religious Studies: An Interview with Kevin Schilbrack

Interview by Alexey Rakhmanin, Associate Professor and Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities (Saint-Petersburg, Russia).
Posted: 2018-07-12More...
 

On Finding Common Ground: A (Very Brief) Reflection on a So What? Question

This is a brief reply to Sarah Rollens' piece.
Posted: 2018-07-12More...
 

Some More Delightful Iconoclasm: A Response to Andrew Kunze

A response to Andrew Kunze's review of Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893.
Posted: 2018-06-18More...
 

“They Were Talking about Themselves”: Michael Altman, American Hinduism, and Critique from the Inside of Religious Studies

Michael Altman’s Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu offers a major contribution to the history of Hinduism in America, as it revises the standard “Transcendentalist-Theosophist-Vivekananda-1965” trajectory with a critical eye toward the nationalist and orientalist discourses of formative episodes from the Colonial era up to Chicago’s World Parliament (xvii). Altman’s genealogical approach presumes no essence or definition of ‘Hinduism,’ which both suits his source materials and serves his interest in classification quite well. Throughout this history, a rich set of examples shows how ‘hazy notions’ of Indian religion variously served as discursive foils and straw-men against white, Protestant American identity¬–from scathing missionary accounts of barbaric ‘Juggernaut’ worship (30), to the racial hierarchies in American geography schoolbooks (59), Thoreau’s Walden Pond as a River Ganges (86), and the Indian-derived, but not Hindu, ‘wisdom religion’ of the Theosophical Society (109). As Altman convincingly argues, when white, Protestant Americans talked about religion in India, “they were not really talking about religion in India. They were talking about themselves” (xxi), and thereby constituting their own racial, national, and religious identities (140).
Posted: 2018-05-21More...
 

Most Viewed Articles

 

Current Trends in the Study of Early Christian Martyrdom

This paper investigate recent scholarship on early Christian martyrdom. It discusses the shift away from the study of the origins of martyrdom to an interest in martyrdom and the body, Christian identity formation, and martyrdom and orthodoxy. It further discusses the need for a reappraisal of the evidence for early Christian martyrdom and the renewed attention that questions of dating, authorship, and provenance have received.
Posted: 2012-08-12More...
 

Theoretical Challenges in Studying Religious Experience in Gnosticism: A Prolegomena for Social Analysis

Several theoretical impediments face the ancient historian who wishes to embark on the study of religious experience within ancient cultures. While many of these difficulties face other religious studies scholars, the historical quality compounds these challenges. This paper explores several of these theoretical difficulties with a specific focus on the Valentinian, Sethian, and other so-called “Gnostic” groups in late antiquity. Specifically, the study of religious experience tends to give privileged interpretative position to insiders (evoking the etic/emic problem) and psychological analyses due to the “personal” or “individual” quality of such experiences (typified by perennialist approaches) (Otto, Wach, Eliade, Smart), or, following James and Jung, focus on the initial charismatic moment’s effect upon subsequent social structures. In contrast to such tendencies I suggest, by building on Fitzgerald’s lead in the Guide to the Study of Religion and largely agreeing with constructivist approaches, that we re-direct our focus toward the external social forces at play that discursively facilitate, shape, and direct experiential moments within the confines of social identity construction. This article builds on attachment theory from social psychology. Such analysis will allow us to better appreciate the experiential aspects of “Gnosticism” while appreciating the individual, communal, and (most importantly) discursive quality of the intersection of the individual and communal. Specific examples of such social facilitation will be briefly explored from Nag Hammadi, where ritual, narrative, and mythological discourse function to enable, and thereby define, religious experience.
Posted: 2012-12-18More...
 

Reinventing Religious Studies: An Interview with Scott Elliott

I interviewed Scott S. Elliott in December 2013, where we discussed his recent book (as editor) Reinventing Religious Studies: Key Writings in the History of a Discipline (Acumen 2013). Our conversation ranged from the history of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion to how articles appearing in its journal, the CSSR Bulletin, over some 40-odd years have been at the leading edge of advancing debates in the study of religion, from problems in theory and method and the definition of religion, to issues of identity politics and the study of Islam.
Posted: 2014-03-05More...
 

Romania’s Saving Angels: ”New Men”, Orthodoxy and Blood Mysticism in the Legionary Movement

In Romania, a Christian, ultranationalistic movement known as The Legionary Movement has before and after the Communist period called for a national, spritual revolution. Perceiving themselves as front fighters protected by the Archangel, Legionaries endeavour to purify the nation so that it can live in its God-given fatherland. In order to assure national resurrection, Legionaries want to create a “New Man”, understood as a new male. This ideal combines the qualities of a Christian martyr, a working hero, a monk and a militant and as such both complex and ambiguous. In practice, Legionaries have a lot in common with other European “boot boys”. Based on field studies, this article discusses the role of men in this movement: their role models, male bonding, rituals and myths, as well as their concepts of family, brotherhood and blood relations, all with reference to a particular ethnonationalistic, christocentric worldview.
Posted: 2012-03-15More...
 

What is Euhemerism? A Brief History of Research and Some Persisting Questions

The third century BCE Greek writer Euhemerus of Messene composed a utopian travel narrative entitled Sacred Inscription where he articulated a theory, known as euhemerism, regarding the origin of religion. The theory maintained that all Olympian gods were deified prominent kings and later scholars made use of it as a justification of divine kingship in the Graeco-Roman world. Euhemerism managed to survive in the early Christian era as a theory that represents the falsity of the gods of the pagans. From a theory of myth to a theory of religion and from a less important element of Euhemerus’ utopian narrative to mere historiography, euhemerism has managed to preserve itself in scholarly discussions without the existence of a comprehensive examination of the theory from a religious studies perspective and the way it was used in later periods. Based on the various and divergent usages and applications of euhemerism both in historical studies and in theoretical discussions on religion, the question remains: What is euhemerism?
Posted: 2014-03-05More...
 

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