On Theory (as Pedagogy) in a Time of Excess

Asking Questions in 2017


  • Jessica Radin University of Toronto




Theory of Religion, Theory in a Time of Excess, Religion in the Public Sphere, pedagogy, theory


Drawing on the articles collected by Aaron W. Hughes in the newly published "Theory in a Time of Excess", this article argues that critical theory in religion has an important role to play in the public sphere of 2017. This is particularly true if scholars take seriously the suggestion of several of the authors in this edited volume, that critical theory in the study of religion must consist of the constant questioning both of specific theories, and of the social, political, and historical paradigm in which both theories and methods are chosen by scholars.

Author Biography

Jessica Radin, University of Toronto

Jessica Radin, PhD Candidate, Department for the Study of Religion Working Languages: English, Arabic, French, Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, University of Toronto, Canada.


Huetemann, Emmarie, and Alcindor Yamiche. 2017. “Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary: Pence Breaks Tie.” New York Times. February 8. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/us/politics/betsy-devos-education-secretary-confirmed.html

Hughes, Aaron W., ed. 2017. Theory in a Time of Excess: Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.

Lilla, Mark. 2001. The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics. New York: New York Review of Books.

McPhail, Deborah, Brenda Beagan, and Gwen E. Chapman.  2012 “’I Don’t Want to Be Sexist, But…’ Denying and Re-Inscribing Gender Through Food.” Food, Culture, and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies 15 (3): 473–89.

9th District Court of Appeals. 2017. Hearing: State of Washington and State of Minnesota v Donald J. Trump et al. Feb 7. http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php?pk_vid=0000010885

Trump, President Donald J. 2017. Executive Order of January 27, 2017. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states



How to Cite

Radin, J. (2018). On Theory (as Pedagogy) in a Time of Excess: Asking Questions in 2017. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 47(2), 18–26. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.32961