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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


Exhibiting Religion
Colonialism and Spectacle at International Expositions, 1851–1893 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
Comparative Perspectives 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


Symbolic Loss
The Ambiguity of Mourning and Memory at Century's End Peter Homans

Historically, many world cultures have linked three disparate phenomena: collective loss; mourning; and the construction of monuments and cultural symbols to represent the loss over time and render it memorable, meaningful,and thereby bearable. In a century of great loss, observers of western... More


Boredom and the Religious Imagination
Michael L. Raposa

Boredom matters, writes Michael Raposa, because it represents a threat to spiritual life. Boredom can undermine prayer and meditation and signal the failure of religious imagination. If you engage it seriously, however, it can also be the starting point for philosophical reflection and spiritual... More


Creationism on Trial
Evolution and God at Little Rock Langdon Gilkey

Creationism on Trial is Gilkey's blow-by-blow account of his experiences as a witness for the ACLU at the 1981 creationist trial in Little Rock, AR.


Myth and Method
Laurie L. Patton and Wendy Doniger, eds.

In the wake of the elegant master theories of Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Georges Dumezil, and Claude Levi-Strauss, how are mythology and the comparative study of religion to be understood? In Myth and Method, a leading team of scholars assesses the current state of the study of myth and... More


Savage Systems
Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa David Chidester

Savage Systems examines the emergence of the concepts of "religion"and "religions" on colonial frontiers. The book offers a detailed analysis of the ways in which European travelers, missionaries, settlers, and government agents, as well as indigenous Africans, engaged in the comparison of... More


Captured by Texts
Puritan to Postmodern Images of Indian Captivity Gary L. Ebersole

How has the American Indian captivity narrative been used to explain the human condition? How does it serve to interpret the meaning of pain and suffering, gender, and the primitive-civilized dichotomy? In Captured by Texts, Gary L. Ebersole explores these questions, showing that our fictional... More


Versions of Deconversion
Autobiography and the Loss of Faith John D. Barbour

In Versions of Deconversion John Barbour examines the work of a broad selection of authors in order to discover the reasons for their loss of faith and to analyze the ways in which they have interpreted loss. For some the experience of deconversion led to atheism or agnosticism, and others used... More


Ordinarily Sacred
Lynda Sexson

Lynda Sexson offers a theology of everyday experience in this enchanting book that shows how the religious traditions of the world lie slightly concealed in the details and commonplaces of ordinary life.


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