Paul Michael Hedges

Aug 19, 2021

Understanding Religion

Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies

University of California Press 2021

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

Paul Michael Hedges's Understanding Religion: Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies (U California Press, 2021) 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.

Byung Ho Choi is a Ph.D. Student from South Korea in the Department of History & Ecumenics, concentrating in World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Byung Ho Choi

Byung Ho Choi is a Ph.D. Student from South Korea in the Department of History & Ecumenics, concentrating in World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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