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The Sacred Is the Profane – The Political Nature of "Religion" - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of "Religion"

William Arnal and Russell T. McCutcheon


It has become increasingly recognized in the field of religious studies that the very idea of “religion”—the founding concept of our area of study—is an idea with a history, specifically a modern and Western history. Yet this recognition has not extended beyond the narrow boundaries of theoretical discourse in the field, and so has had little influence on how “religious” data are actually described and studied, and even on how they are explained. This book argues that the concept of a particular, bounded, and distinctive realm of human behavior that can be designated as “religion” is a politic ... More

Keywords: religion, religious studies, politics, modernity, secularism, definition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199757114
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757114.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Arnal, author
University of Regina

Russell T. McCutcheon, author
University of Alabama