Frameworks and Methodologies

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Literary Studiesthe Scientific Study of ReligionAnthropology and SociologyPsychologyOther Theories of ReligionSpirituality StudiesLiterature at the Religious Institution

Literary Studies

Bouchard, Larry D. “Religion and Literature: Four Theses and More.” Religion and Literature. 41.2 (2009): 12-19.

Hart, Kevin. “‘Religion and Literature’?” Religion and Literature. 41.2 (2009): 143-147.

“Methods for the Study of Religion in Early American Literature.” Early American Literature. 45.1 (2010).

Sassen, Saskia. “Organized Religions in Our Global Modernity.” PMLA 126.2 (2011): 455-59.

Venard, Olivier-Thomas, OP. “‘Theology and Literature’: What is it About?” Religion and Literature. 41.2 (2009): 87-93.

Ziolkowski, Eric. “Axial Age Theorising and the Comparative Study of Religion and Literature.” Literature & Theology. 28.2 (2014): 129-150.

Ziolkowski, Eric. Religion and Literature: History and Method. Leiden: Brill, 2020.

The Scientific Study of Religion

Braun, Willi and Russell T. McCutcheon. Guide to the Study of Religion. New York: Cassell, 2000.  

Connolly, Peter, ed. Approaches to the Study of Religion. New York: Cassell, 1999. 

Jensen, Tim and Michael Rothstein, eds. Secular Theories of Religion. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000. 

Olson, Carl. Theory and Method in the Study of Religion. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003.  

Waardenburg, Jacques. Classical Approaches to the Study of Religion. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1999.  

Yinger, J. Milton. The Scientific Study of Religion. London: Macmillan, 1970.  

Anthropology and Sociology

Cannell, Fenella, ed. The Anthropology of Christianity. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2006.

Clarke, Peter B., ed. The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. 

Hamilton, Malcolm. The Sociology of Religion: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 1995.  

Lambek, Michael, ed. A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

Morris, Brian. Religion and Anthropology. New York: Cambridge UP, 2006.  

Saler, Benson. Conceptualizing Religion: Immanent Anthropologists, Transcendent Natives, and Unbounded Categories. New York: E.J. Brill, 1993.

Smart, Ninian. Dimensions of the Sacred. Berkeley: U. of California P, 1996.


Emmons, Robert A. and Raymond F. Paloutzian. “The Psychology of Religion.” Annual Review of Psychology 54 (2003): 377-402.

Paloutzian, Raymond F. and Crystal L. Park, eds. Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. New York: The Guildford Press, 2005. 

Taves, Ann. Religious Experience Reconsidered. A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2009.

Other Theories of Religion

Asad, Talal. Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003. 

Bataille, Georges. The Theory of Religion. 1973. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Zone Books, 1992.

Casanova, José. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994.

De Vries, Hent, ed. Religion: Beyond a Concept (The Future of the Religious Past). New York: Fordham UP, 2008.  

Hervieu-Léger, Danièle. Religion as a Chain of Memory. Trans. Simon Lee. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2000.  

Tweed, Thomas A. Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2006.

Spirituality Studies

Dryer, Elizabeth A. and Mark S. Burrows, eds. Minding the Spirit: the Study of Christian Spirituality. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Hanson, Bradley C. Modern Christian Spirituality: Methodological and Historical Essays. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1990. 1-12. Print.

Holder, Arthur. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality. Maldon, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.  

Literature at the Religious Institution

Ryken, Leland. The Liberated Imagination: Thinking Christianly About the Arts. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1989.

Holmes, Arthur. The Idea of a Christian College. 1975. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1987.