Religion, Genealogy, and the Study of American Religions

Authors

  • L. Benjamin Rolsky Independent

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.35681

Keywords:

Genealogy, Charles H. Long, Theory and Method, Religion, Theory, History

Abstract

This article serves as one of four responses to Dana Logan's 2017 JAAR article entitled, "Lean Closet: Asceticism in Postindustrial Consumer Culture." It investigates the value of genealogical method for the field of American religious history and establishes both benefits and drawbacks to its application.

Author Biography

L. Benjamin Rolsky, Independent

Dr. L. Benjamin Rolsky received his PhD from Drew University in American Religious Studies. His work has appeared in a variety of popular and academic venues including Method and Theory in the Study of Religion and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion as well as The Christian Century, The Marginalia Review of Books, and the Religion and Culture Forum at the University of Chicago. His research and teaching interests include religion and politics, the study of popular culture, and critical theory. Rolsky is currently completing a manuscript entitled, Norman Lear and the Spiritual Politics of Religious Liberalism, which is under contract with Columbia University Press. Once complete, he plans to begin research on a second book project that examines the history of the Christian Right across the 20th century.

References

Bivins, Jason. 2008. Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340815.001.0001

Callahan, Richard, Kathryn Lofton, and Chad Seales. 2010. “Allegories of Progress: Industrial Religion in the United States.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 78(1): 1–39. https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfp076.

Cooper, Travis. 2017. “Emerging, Emergent, Emergence: Boundary Maintenance, Definition Construction, and Legitimation Strategies in the Establishment of a Post-Evangelical Subculture.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 56: 398–417. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12329

Curtis, Finbarr. 2017. The Production of American Religious Freedom. New York: New York University Press.

———. 2012. “The Study of American Religions: Critical Reflections on a Specialization.” Religion 42: 355–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2012.681875

Curts, Kati. 2015. “Temples and Turnpikes in the World of Tomorrow: Religious Assemblage and Automobility at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 83: 722–49. https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfv041.

Foucault, Michel. 1977. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, and History.” In Language, Counter-Memory, and Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by Donald F. Bouchard, 139–64. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Hall, David, ed. 1997. Lived Religion: Toward a History of Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hardy, Clarence E. III. 2008. “‘No Mystery God’: Black Religions of the Flesh in Pre-War Urban America.” Church History 77: 128–50. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009640708000012

Lofton, Kathryn. 2017. Consuming Religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226482125.001.0001

———. 2011. Oprah: Gospel of an Icon. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Logan, Dana. 2017. “The Lean Closet: Asceticism in Post Industrial Consumer Culture.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 85: 600–28. https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfw091.

Long, Charles H. 1993. Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion. Aurora, CO: Davies Group.

Mathews, Donald. 1969. “The Second Great Awakening as an Organizing Process, 1780-1830: An Hypothesis.” American Quarterly 21: 22–43. https://doi.org/10.2307/2710771

McCrary, Charles, and Jeffrey Wheatley. 2017. “The Protestant Secular in the Study of American Religion: Reappraisal and Suggestions.” Religion 47: 256–76. https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1244124.

Modern, John. 2015 “Did Someone Say ‘Evangelical  Surge’?” Church History 84: 630–36. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009640715000578

Orsi, Robert. 2016. History and Presence. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.?https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674969056

Proceedings from the 4th Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture. https://raac.iupui.edu/publications/conference-proceedings/

Schmidt, Leigh. 2011. “Oprah the Omnipotent.” The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere. http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2011/05/16/oprah-the-omnipotent/

———. 2013. Review of Secularism in Antebellum America, by John Modern. Church History 82: 230.

Stout, Harry S., and D. G. Hart, eds. 1997. New Directions in American Religious History. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tweed, Thomas, ed. 1997. Retelling US Religious History. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Walker, David. 2013. “The Humbug in American Religion: Ritual Theories of Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 23 (1): 30-74.?https://doi.org/10.1525/rac.2013.23.1.30.

Wenger, Tisa. 2017. Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press

Published

2019-04-08

How to Cite

Rolsky, L. B. (2019). Religion, Genealogy, and the Study of American Religions. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 47(3-4), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.35681

Issue

Section

Articles