The Very Idea of Religion

From the May 2000 Print Edition

The study of religion as an academic discipline is now close to a century and a half old. In the United States, at least, it appears to be flourishing. There are scores of university departments devoted to it, several hundred doctoral degrees earned in it each year, a professional organization (the . . . . Continue Reading »

Tu Quoque

From the March 1998 Print Edition

Manufacturing Religion: The Discourse on Sui Generis Religion and the Politics of Nostalgia By Russell T. McCutcheon Oxford University Press 249 pp. $32 The academic study of religion is in something of a theoretical muddle at the moment. In its early days it defined itself mostly by contrast with . . . . Continue Reading »

Withered by the Sun

From the March 1997 Print Edition

Dimensions of the Sacred:An Anatomy of the World’s Beliefs By Ninian Smart University of California Press, 331 pages, $29.95 The modern study of religion is about a century old. It has a longer lineage, of course: Hume’s Natural History of Religion and Spinoza’s Tractatus . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond Pluralism

From the January 1996 Print Edition

Salvations: Truth and Difference in Religion By S. Mark Heim Orbis, 248 pages, $19.95 Christians have always been interested in the fact that there are many faithful practitioners of religions other than Christianity. Some are ignorant of Christianity; others prefer to remain non-Christian even . . . . Continue Reading »

The Case for Christianity

From the May 1995 Print Edition

Is Christianity True? by Hugo A. Meynell University of America Press, 149 pages, $24.95 Apologetics-the traditional intellectual exercise of defense of Christian belief against attacks from rivals and the attempt to show the superiority of Christian belief-has seen something of a revival among . . . . Continue Reading »