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Studies in Religion and Culture

Our series of studies in religion and culture sustains its focus on questions of interpreting religious and cultural traditions and the interplay between them. The series includes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches. What unifies the series is a set of shared issues and questions rather than a single religious tradition, academic discipline, or cultural focus. These shared concerns have to do with the meanings of religious and cultural traditions in view of the challenges to them in today’s world.

Series Editors: John D. Barbour and Gary L. Ebersole
UVP Editor: Eric Brandt


The Pragmatist Turn

Giles Gunn

In The Pragmatist Turn, renowned scholar of American literature and thought Giles Gunn offers a new critical history of the way seventeenth-century religion and the eighteenth-century Enlightenment influenced the formation of subsequent American writing. This shaping was dependent on their... More


Rethinking Sincerity and Authenticity

Howard Pickett

"This above all: To thine own self be true," is an ideal—or pretense—belonging as much to Hamlet as to the carefully choreographed realms of today’s politics and social media. But what if our "true" selves aren’t our "best" selves? Instagram’s curated portraits of authenticity often betray the... More


The Newark Earthworks

Edited by Lindsay Jones and Richard D. Shiels

Considered a wonder of the ancient world, the Newark Earthworks—the gigantic geometrical mounds of earth built nearly two thousand years ago in the Ohio valley--have been a focal point for archaeologists and surveyors, researchers and scholars for almost two centuries. In their prime one of the... More


Ideas to Live For

Giles Gunn

Over the course of his distinguished interdisciplinary career, Giles Gunn has sustained his focus on the continuing threats to our collective sense of the human that seem to result from the link between the collision of fundamental values and the increase of systemic violence. He asks whether such... More


The Pagan Writes Back

Zhange Ni

In the first book to consider the study of world religion and world literature in concert, Zhange Ni proposes a new reading strategy that she calls "pagan criticism," which she applies not only to late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century literary texts that engage the global resurgence of... More


Freud and Augustine in Dialogue

William B. Parsons

"It is arguably the case," writes William Parsons, "that no two figures have had more influence on the course of Western introspective thought than Freud and Augustine." Yet it is commonly assumed that Freud and Augustine would have nothing to say to each other with regard to spirituality or... More


Vigilant Faith

Daniel Boscaljon

In Vigilant Faith: Passionate Agnosticism in a Secular World, Daniel Boscaljon takes up the contemporary challenges to faith by skepticism and secularism. He proposes a model of faith for believers and unbelievers alike—a passionate agnosticism—that is rooted in a skeptical consciousness.... More


Bewildered Travel

Frederick J. Ruf

Why do we travel? Ostensibly an act of leisure, travel finds us thrusting ourselves into jets flying miles above the earth, only to endure dislocations of time and space, foods and languages foreign to our body and mind, and encounters with strangers on whom we must suddenly depend. Travel is not... More


Doing Justice to Mercy

Jonathan Rothchild, Matthew Myer Boulton, and Kevin Jung, eds.

It is often assumed that the law and religion address different spheres of human life. Religion and ethics articulate complex systems of moral reasoning that concern norms, deliberation of ends, cultivation of disposition, and transformation of moral agency. Law, in contrast, seeks to govern human... More


Postmodernism and the Revolution in Religious Theory

Carl Raschke

While the academic study of religion has increased almost exponentially in the past fifty years, general theories of religion have been in significant decline. In his new book, Carl Raschke offers the first systematic exploration of how the postmodern philosophical theories of Jacques Derrida,... More


Textual Intimacy

Wesley A. Kort

Given its affinity with questions of identity, autobiography offers a way into the interior space between author and reader, especially when writers define themselves in terms of religion. In his exploration of this "textual intimacy," Wesley Kort begins with a theorization of what it means to say... More


When the Sun Danced

Jeffrey S. Bennett

Between May and October of 1917, three young shepherds were reportedly visited six times by an apparition of the Virgin Mary near the town of Fátima in Portugal. At the final apparition event, approximately 70,000 visitors gathered to witness a prophesied miracle intended to convince the public... More


Encountering the Secular

J. Heath Atchley

In Encountering the Secular, J. Heath Atchley proposes an alternative to the understanding of the secular as that which opposes the religious, and he turns to American and Continental philosophy to support his critique. Drawing from thinkers as disparate as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Gilles Deleuze,... More


Religion after Postmodernism

Victor E. Taylor

In this critical examination of the role of the imagination in the modern and postmodern periods, Victor E. Taylor looks at the 'fable' as a narrative form that addresses the ultimate questions of how to live and why. He assesses various literary theories and styles in the wake of postmodernism to... More


Mourning Religion

Edited by William B. Parsons, Diane Jonte-Pace, and Susan E. Henking

Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theorists such as Freud, Durkheim, Weber, and Marx built their intellectual edifices on what they thought would be the remains or ruins of religion in the wake of modernization. But today the decline and disappearance of religion can no longer be simply... More


Praise of the Secular

Gabriel Vahanian

Conservative religious figures routinely warn against the dangers of secularization, just as proponents of the modern secular state decry the theocratic tendencies of religion. Both sides assume that the sacred and the secular are diametrically opposed. Gabriel Vahanian rightly calls such... More


Sacred Claims

Greg Johnson

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 provides a legal framework within which Native Americans can seek the repatriation of human remains and certain categories of cultural objects--including "sacred objects"--from federally funded institutions. Although the... More


John Ruskin and the Ethics of Consumption

David M. Craig

The first book on the Victorian critic and public intellectual John Ruskin by a scholar of religion and ethics, this work recovers both Ruskin's engaged critique of economic life and his public practice of moral imagination. With its reading of Ruskin as an innovative contributor to a tradition of... More


Religion in a Secular World

Clayton Crockett, ed.

How are we to think about religion and violence in the contemporary world, especially in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001? In this collection of essays, nearly a dozen scholars, including some of the leading voices in the field of academic religious thought, offer a theoretical and... More


Pontius Pilate

Roger Caillois. Translated by Charles Lam Markmann, with an introduction by Ivan Strenski

If you thought you knew all there is to know about Pontius Pilate and Jesus, this little book has some surprises for you. In this "greatest story never told," Pontius Pilate finally gets a chance to tell his side of the story, filling in what the Bible left out. For someone who made one of the most... More


The Value of Solitude

John D. Barbour

Most people feel ambivalent about solitude, both loving and fearing it depending on how they experience being alone at certain points in their lives. In The Value of Solitude, John Barbour explores some of the ways in which experiences of solitude, both positive and negative, have been interpreted... More


Meditation and the Martial Arts

Michael L. Raposa

The relationship between meditation and the martial arts is a multifaceted one: meditation is one of the practices in which martial artists engage in order to prepare for combat, while the physical exercises constituting much of the discipline of the martial arts might well be considered meditative... More


Between Faith and Thought

Jeffrey W. Robbins

The ontotheological problem is perhaps the defining issue of contemporary philosophical theology, as it reveals that dimension of thought where reason and faith are indivisible and indissoluble—where philosophy recognizes its faith in reason and theology realizes its responsibility to thought. In... More


Exhibiting Religion

John P. Burris

World’s fairs contributed mightily to defining a relationship between religion and the wider world of human culture. Even at the base level of popular culture found on the midways of the earliest international expositions—where Victorian ladies gawked at displays of non-Western, "primitive" life—... More


Taking Responsibility

Winston Davis, ed.

Responsibility has become the "queen of modern virtues," Winston Davis argues, even if there is no consensus as to what responsibility means. This illuminating collection of essays encompasses conceptions of responsibility around the globe, as discussed by leading scholars in the fields of... More


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