Latest Issue: Vol 46, No 3-4 (2017) 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. See below for NAASR 2017 Call for Respondents, annual AAR program.

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.


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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

 

Something I Learned from J.Z. Smith: Mitsutoshi Horii

This is part of a new series where scholars reflect on something they’ve learned from the influential work of Jonathan Z. Smith, who died on December 30, 2017. For other posts in the series see here. by Mitsutoshi Horii My disciplinary … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-02-21More...
 

So You’re Not a Priest? Scholars Explain What They Do to Outsiders: Adam J. Powell

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: 2018-02-16More...
 

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

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: 2018-02-14More...
 

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

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: 2018-02-09More...
 

Something I Learned from J.Z. Smith: William O’Connor

This is part of a new series where scholars reflect on something they’ve learned from the influential work of Jonathan Z. Smith, who died on December 30, 2017. For other posts in the series see here. by William O’Connor, with the … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-02-06More...
 

Colloquium announcement and call for papers: Religion & Theology Colloquium “Towards a Different Reformation”

Date: Wednesday 29 – Friday 31 August 2018 Venue: Council Chambers, University of Johannesburg The Reformation in Europe that started with Martin Luther nailing his “95 theses” to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on 31 October … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-02-01More...
 

Something I Learned from J.Z. Smith: Vaia Touna

by Vaia Touna This is part of a new series where scholars reflect on something they’ve learned from the influential work of Jonathan Z. Smith, who died on December 30, 2017. For other posts in the series see here. It … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-01-30More...
 

Something I Learned from J.Z. Smith: Brett Colasacco

  This is part of a series where scholars reflect on something they’ve learned from the influential work of Jonathan Z. Smith, who died on December 30, 2017. For other posts in the series see here. by Brett Colasacco This … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-01-25More...
 

Flourish and Decay: Application Deadline Extended

Call for Papers The Religion Graduate Organization and the Department of Religion at Syracuse University announce the 2018 Graduate Student Conference Flourish and Decay: Exploring Religion in Process on Friday, April 13th, 2018. Flour·ish: [‘flǝriSH] (n., v.) growth and development in a … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-01-24More...
 

Evangelizing the Ufologists

by Joseph Laycock Last week my friend Blake Smith, co-host of the podcast “Monstertalk,” e-mailed me about a new documentary called “Alien Intrusion.” The film, which promises to “unmask a deception” about extra-terrestrials, is based on a book by Gary … Continue reading
Posted: 2018-01-23More...
 

Recent Articles

 

Biophilia's Queer Remnants

Evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis, that humans have a genetically influenced emotional affiliation with life and life-like processes, for some time has invigorated a prominent strain of scholarship within religion and ecology that taps into the affective dimensions of our evolutionary histories. Our biophilic tendencies coupled with the awe, wonder, and reverence evoked by these religiously resonant cosmologies, they argue, provide occasions for cultivating ethical investments rooted in genetic kinship. However, much of this work that adopts biophilia assumes a “healthy” animal-other and rarely affiliates with the ill, disabled, and mutated creatures impacted by ecological degradation. In conversation with Donovan Schaefer’s provocative new book Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power and his engagement with biophilia, this paper considers possibilities for addressing aversion to animals impacted by ecological collapse through Schaefer’s understanding of affects as not merely adaptive, but embedded within complex economies of embodiment and power.
Posted: 2017-08-16More...
 

Animal Politics: Species, Evolution, and Religious Affects

This article considers four responses to the 2015 volume Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power and draws out their implications for thinking religion, affect, science, and power.
Posted: 2017-08-14More...
 

Nothing Outside the Text? Religion and its Others in Emoji Discourse

The authors of "Emoji Dei: Religious Iconography in the Digital Age" respond to Joseph Laycock's discussion of their essay. This response focuses on methodological issues and offers a critical assessment of the claim that "religion" is a second-order category.
Posted: 2017-08-14More...
 

Who Says a Headscarf Emoji is Religious? (And Why?)

Who Says a Headscarf Emoji is Religious? (And Why?)
Posted: 2017-08-12More...
 

Bodies, Biopolitics, and Mushrooms Once Again: A Response to Donovan Schaefer

In this short essay, I respond to Donovan Schaefer's response to my paper, "Do Mushrooms Have Religion, Too?" Continuing the line of critique originally formulated, I suggest that Schaefer's exclusion of non-animal life from the realm of bodies conceals a biopolitical decision.
Posted: 2017-08-12More...
 

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...
 

Religion Snapshots: On the Uses of “Data”

Religion Snapshots is a new feature with the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog, where a number of contributors are asked to briefly comment on popular news items or pressing theoretical issues in the field, especially those topics relating to definitions, classification and method and theory in the study of religion more generally. Below is one such roundtable discussion, focusing on the problematic notion of “data” in the study of religion. The editors of the Bulletin encourage readers to follow Religion Snapshots on our blog (and, of course, we welcome responses to the topics discussed by other scholars).
Posted: 2014-01-10More...
 

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