2 Using religious studies to study religion
- Adam Dinham and Martha Shaw, 2015. RE for REal: the future of teaching and learning about religion and belief. FCSU, London.
- Paul Hedges’ new book is an excellent and comprehensive resource for exploring this whole area: Understanding Religion: Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies (2021), University of California Press
Some key items that have been helpful in the development of the resources for Section 2 of the book include:
- Linda Woodhead’s article offers a clear and rich taxonomy of five major uses of the term ‘religion’. Woodhead, Linda (2011) ‘Five concepts of religion’ in International Review of Sociology vol 21:1, 121-143
- Andrew McKinnon analyses the value and limitations of definitions of religion. Andrew M McKinnon (2002) ‘Sociological definitions, language games, and the ‘essence’ of religion’, in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion vol 14, 61-83
- Victoria Harrison explores the challenges of defining religion. Victoria Harrison (2006) ‘The pragmatics of defining religion in a multi-cultural world’, in The International Journal for Philosophy of Religion vol 59, 133-152
- Martin Southwold suggests a selection of attributes that apply roughly to the cultural system we call ‘religion’, as a way of accommodating Buddhism. Martin Southwold (1978) ‘Buddhism and the definition of religion’, in Man vol. 13:3, 362-379, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.