Understanding Religion: Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies (Paperback)

Understanding Religion: Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies By Paul Michael Hedges Cover Image
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A cutting-edge introduction to contemporary religious studies theory, connecting theory to data.

This innovative coursebook introduces students to interdisciplinary theoretical tools for understanding contemporary religiously diverse societies—both Western and non-Western. Using a case-study model, the text considers:
  • A wide and diverse array of contemporary issues, questions, and critical approaches to the study of religion relevant to students and scholars
  • A variety of theoretical approaches, including decolonial, feminist, hermeneutical, poststructuralist, and phenomenological analyses
  • Current debates on whether the term "religion" is meaningful
  • Many key issues about the study of religion, including the insider-outsider debate, material religion, and lived religion
  • Plural and religiously diverse societies, including the theological ideas of traditions and the political and social questions that arise for those living alongside adherents of other religions
Understanding Religion is designed to provide a strong foundation for instructors to explore the ideas presented in each chapter in multiple ways, engage students in meaningful activities in the classroom, and integrate additional material into their lectures. Students will gain the tools to apply specific methods from a variety of disciplines to analyze the social, political, spiritual, and cultural aspects of religions. Its unique pedagogical design means it can be used from undergraduate- to postgraduate-level courses.

About the Author

Paul Hedges is Associate Professor in the Studies in Interreligious Relations in Plural Societies Programme, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books and over seventy academic papers. His most recent book is Religious Hatred: Prejudice, Islamophobia, and Antisemitism in Global Context.

Praise For…

"Understanding Religion is a lucid, creatively structured, and nearly jargon-free introduction to theories and methods for studying religious communities and traditions in diverse societies, bold in scope, and presented in a manner that is undergraduate-friendly, yet sophisticated enough for use in a graduate-level course."
— Journal of Interreligious Studies

"Explores themes one might expect in a textbook as well as ones welcomely added, emphasizing a 'deeply political' approach that continually draws the reader’s attention back to whose voice gets expressed in scholarship, and whose does not."
— Religious Studies Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520298910
ISBN-10: 0520298918
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2021
Pages: 584
Language: English