Leslie Dorrough Smith and Steven Wesley Ramey, "Religions of the World: Questions, Challenges, and New Directions" (Equinox Publishing, 2024)


Religions of the World: Questions, Challenges, and New Directions (Equinox Publishing, 2024) is a world religions textbook that provides a critical introduction to the social, political, and cultural interests that inform how people describe and identify with religion. One of its goals is to provide a sense of methodological transparency that few, if any, other textbooks today offer. The book opens with an Introduction that discusses contemporary methodological concerns in the study of religion, with special focus on the World Religions Paradigm. This is followed by ten (10) chapters, six (6) of which discuss a distinct religion and four (4) of which discuss regional traditions. This organization is intentional and self-conscious, as the authors discuss how these scholarly categories (distinct tradition vs. regional tradition) shape the ways that both insiders and outsiders discuss, practice, and engage religion in their daily lives.

Leslie Dorrough Smith is Professor of Religious Studies at Avila University and a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty. She is the author of Righteous Rhetoric: Sex, Speech, and the Politics of Concerned Women for America (2014) and Compromising Positions Sex Scandals, Politics, and American Christianity (2019).

Steven W. Ramey is Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, where he also directs the Asian Studies Program. He is the author of Hindu Sufi or Sikh: Contested Practices and Identifications of Sindhi Hindus in India and Beyond (2008) and has edited many volumes, including most recently Hinduism in 5 Minutes (2022).

This episode’s host, Jacob Barrett, is currently a PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Religion and Culture track. For more information, visit his website.

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Jacob Barrett

Studying religion, theorizing about governance, and making use of computational analysis. @jakebarrett25 and https://thereluctantamericanis...

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