Who Gets to Play in the Sandbox?

Debating Identities, Methodologies, and Theoretical Frameworks


  • Philip L. Tite University of Washington




religious studies, definitions, essentialism, adjunct faculty, American Academy of Religion, Ahmed Mohamed, Caroline Schaffalitzky de Muckadell, Practicum, teaching, pedagogy, North American Association for the Study of Religion


Editor's introduction to the Bulletin for the Study of Religion 44.4 (2015). Specifically, this introduction presents a panel of appears responding to Caroline Schaffalitzky de Muckadell's JAAR article on essentialist definitions of religion, an Open Letter to the AAR from Kat Daley-Bailey (and comments on the problems facing adjunct faculty with regard to the AAR annual meeting), a standalone article by Joseph Laycock on the Irving, Texas controversy Ahmed Ahmed Mohamed’s homemade clock (taken as a bomb threat), an interview with the editors of the Practicum blog, and finally an Editor's Corner announcement with comment on a new subscription arrangement with NAASR.

Author Biography

Philip L. Tite, University of Washington

Philip L. Tite is an Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Washington and an adjunct instructor at Seattle University in Seattle WA USA. He holds a PhD degree from McGill University (2005) and has authored several books and articles. His most recent books include The Apocryphal Epistle to the Laodiceans: An Epistolary and Rhetorical Analysis (TENT, 7; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012) and Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (NHMS, 67; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009). As a specialist in the study of early Christianity, in particular Valentinian Gnosticism, Tite has strong interests in elucidating social processes at work in the study of religious phenomena. He also has strong interests in method and theory, religion and violence, and pedagogical issues in the academic study of religion.


McCutcheon, Russell T. 2005. “What is Religion?” In Introduction to World Religions. Edited by Christopher Partridge, 10-13. Minneapolis: Fortress.

Schaffalitzky de Muckadell, Caroline. 2014. “On Essentialism and Real Definitions of Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82.2: 495-520.http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfu015.




How to Cite

Tite, P. (2016). Who Gets to Play in the Sandbox? Debating Identities, Methodologies, and Theoretical Frameworks. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 44(4), 2–3. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v44i4.29521



The Editorial