To be clear, I don’t think a religious studies approach to Wrestle Mania should go find the things that seem obviously religious happening at the event, nor am I arguing that pro wrestling is also a religion.
Rather, I am pointing out a few places where a scholar asking certain questions might find some data to theorize with.
You can find more info about the workshop, including the CFP, HERE.
Over the course of a career of more than forty years, Jonathan Z.
What are the lines between descriptive (hermeneutic) work and theoretical explanations of Islamic texts?
What can scholars in related areas, such as the study of Judaism and early Christianity, offer to this conversation by way of analogy?In addition, the book offers rich interview material from conversations with Buddhist priests.Readers will gain insights into the critical deconstruction, the historicization, and the study of social classification system of ‘religion’, in terms of its cross-cultural application to the contemporary Japanese context.Smith was among the most important voices of critical reflection within the academic study of religion, distinguishing himself as perhaps the most influential theorist of religion of the last half century.Among his significant body of work are essays and lectures on teaching and the essential role of academic scholarship on religion in matters of education and public policy. Smith offers an often provocative introduction to discussions on issues that still dominate the complex and continually changing critical conversations in the academic study of religion.How should Islamic studies as religious studies engage with postcolonial critique?What is the role of identity politics in such endeavors?The interviews and essay published here display something of the dynamic, thinking-on-his feet liveliness that Smith brought to questions about the study of religion, his theoretical preferences, and his methods of teaching. in the specific context of modern day Japan, with a particular focus upon Temple Buddhism.The author draws on a number of popular publications in Japanese, many of which have been written by Buddhist priests.For Smith, and I agree with him, scholars should choose particular examples as data that suit particular questions that they want to answer.In this way, the scholar of religion is not bound by “the boundaries of canon nor of community” in their pursuits.