Calling on religious studies scholars to rethink their work, this book is an important contribution to the way 'religion' is defined and used.
Described as a contemporary classic by the Journal of American Academy of Religion, Steven M. Wasserstrom's publication Religion after Religion (1999) provided a theoretical reorientation for the study of religion. This book takes that reorientation further, showing scholars a way to break out of debates between theologizers and reductionists. Drawing on Wasserstrom's work, former students and colleagues show that religions can and must be understood through comparison with other religious and social phenomena.
Through comparative work and empirical studies, these essays test his concepts of inter-religion and deep pluralism, and present new perspectives on topics including Hemeticism, Gnosticism, modernism, Judaism and inter-Abrahamic thought. The book also explores the influence of Western mysticism on the modern study of religion, and the relationship between modernity, idealism, Judaism, and Islam.
Paul Robertson is Lecturer in Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies at the University of New Hampshire, USA.
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is Professor of Religion and Humanities and Chair of the Religion Department at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, USA.