Whither (Wither) and Why?
This chapter presents Jonathan Z. Smith's assessment of the state of religions studies in the US. He first provides some generalizations about religious studies, including how professional associations seem to foster localisms of every stripe, thus undercutting the very function that requires their existence; that religious studies are vulnerable to economic forces; and the lack of theoretical and professional discourse to mitigate and negotiate the debates over religion. He then focuses on a 1993 crisis involving religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
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