Tyler Roberts, professor of religious studies, has just published Encountering Religion: Responsibility and Criticism After Secularism, with Columbia University Press.
The book explores the state of the field of religious studies to argue that scholars of religion need to supplement current social scientific approaches to the field with more self-conscious humanistic frameworks for understanding religion. At the heart of this framework is the idea that interpreting religion — as well as other human, cultural phenomena — does not just produce academic knowledge but also is part of the process of inheritance and creativity by which cultures are made. Humanistic scholars, in other words, are actors in and not just observers of processes of cultural and social formation. This requires that we think in new ways about the responsibilities entailed in “critical thinking.”