The "so-called history" of the study of religion

Robert A Orsi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While it is the case that Christian values and priorities (in particular, Protestant Christian ones) were fundamental in the making of the modern discipline of religious studies, scholars of religion have struggled within and against this inheritance over the past two centuries in their work of understanding other religions. Western religious scholarship developed in a worldwide circulation of comparisons and commentaries that even within discrepancies imperial power included interlocutors from elsewhere. Nor was the "West" itself singular. Religious studies practitioners today inherit a polyvalent tradition of scholarship that offers rich theoretical possibilities amid its ironies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Historiography
  • Religion
  • Religious studies
  • World religions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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