2009-06-12

Religion 201

Most of the analytical tools at my disposal to study religions were given to me in a course called Religion 201: Theory and Method in Religious Studies. A core departmental requirement, the semester-long class basically read a book per week, each one meant to be a lens through which one could examine subject matter. Our set of lenses came from several disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Prominent authors on the syllabus the year I took the course included William James, Emile Durkheim, Catherine Bell, and Clifford Geertz.

More than just publishing my own blabberings, I would like to share some of the tools I use with others, so you, dear reader, can see the oddities I see through the theoretical and methodological lenses with which I was equipped as a religion major. Accordingly, from time to time I will post a brief overview of some element of my own training in theory and method, a screwdriver or a chisel or a drill from my own religious studies toolbox. In honor of my old theory and method course, this series of posts shall lovingly be dubbed "201 Toolkit."

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