A Challenge for the Academic Study of Religion: No Such Thing as ‘Sacred’ Cows, Right?

Teaching religion in public education can benefit from the discourse in Religious Studies (rs) around the problem/problem of defining religion. This is nowhere truer than in community college (cc). However, the notion that the term ‘religion’ is of limited value (represented here as problem) is of n...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Method & theory in the study of religion
Main Author: Gadsby, Blair Alan
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Brill 2017
In: Method & theory in the study of religion
Year: 2017, Volume: 29, Issue: 4/5, Pages: 479-493
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B USA / Junior college / Religious studies / Religion / Concept of / Educational system / Publicity
IxTheo Classification:AA Study of religion
AH Religious education
KBQ North America
ZF Education
Further subjects:B Civil Society pedagogy the religions / religion 11 Revenge Killer / 9 A Theory of Religion Axioms Definitions Propositions civic pluralism
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Description
Summary:Teaching religion in public education can benefit from the discourse in Religious Studies (rs) around the problem/problem of defining religion. This is nowhere truer than in community college (cc). However, the notion that the term ‘religion’ is of limited value (represented here as problem) is of not-much-use in cc due to religion’s perceptible nature. It is evident to citizens that there is ‘religion’, and while not-much-clear about it by way of rs definitions, it is an identifiable and operative category. I cite the incident of Frank Roque the “9/11 Revenge Killer” to show that there is such a category in the minds of the public and utilize Stark and Bainbridge’s A Theory of Religion to focus the discourse beyond the problem to the pedagogic and heuristic potentials of the problem for educators and ultimately citizens. The challenge for rs is to find ways for its analyses of religions to have a better effect in society. Otherwise, the category will be shaped by other forces as revealed in the words of the murderer regarding his Sikh victim, “I just viewed them all as just hateful Muslims.”
ISSN:1570-0682
Contains:In: Method & theory in the study of religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1163/15700682-12341406