Abstract

Disciplinary retrospectives on American religious studies have come over the last several decades to center on a single turning point, a decisive and expansive reformation of the object of scholars' attentions.In a nutshell, somewhere between the 1970s and 1980s a vanguard among us began at last to leave off writing about white, northeastern, Protestant men and to write instead about everybody: more religions, more relations to religion, more of what counts as religion in the first place.Even as it lies at the animating heart of our disciplinary self-appraisals, however, this narrative turn from Protestantism to pluralism in American religious studies seems itself peculiarly resistant to analysis.This essay proposes that we revisit the dialectic between 'oneness' and 'manyness' in American religious history and historiography.In particular, it urges that we bring scrutiny to bear on the ways that our newer narratives of religious pluralism in America come to be spliced within a more longstanding and resilient metanarrative rooted in American Protestantism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-382
Number of pages10
JournalReligion
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Fingerprint

Protestantism
Religion
pluralism
narrative
reformation
dialectics
historiography
history
Religious Studies
1980s
Religious Pluralism
Pluralism
Scrutiny
1970s
Religious History
Vanguard
Oneness
Historiography
Dialectics
Turning Point

Keywords

  • Albanese
  • American religion
  • Catherine
  • genealogy
  • historiography
  • Masuzawa
  • pluralism
  • Protestantism
  • Tomoko

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The objects of American religious studies. / Fessenden, Tracy.

In: Religion, Vol. 42, No. 3, 07.2012, p. 373-382.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fessenden, Tracy. / The objects of American religious studies. In: Religion. 2012 ; Vol. 42, No. 3. pp. 373-382.
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