Monday, July 23, 2012

Retheorizing

One of the (many) pleasures of the rapidly approaching Fall semester is a return to "Theorizing Religion," perhaps my signature course, after a two-year hiatus. The class started as "Approaches to the Study of Religion" at Princeton and has been my constant companion and conversation partner as I make my way in religious studies.

Although the colleague who's taught it the last two years hasn't changed my syllabus from 2009, I can't just teach the same class again. The field of religious studies has evolved - we're decisively post-secular now as well as post-modern and post-colonial - and so, in my nonlinear way, have I. The Aboriginal Australia course experience necessitates the inclusion of something about the contemporary study of indigenous traditions. The lived religion course and ERSEH require engagement with the emerging field of lived religion. And it's high time I included some non-western theorists, and even some queer theory.

How to do this while still grounding students in the classical theorists of religion is the question! (Yes, I guess I still, if somewhat uneasily, believe in classic texts.) It'll certainly be fun, though. Wish me luck!

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