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Constructing "Data" in Religious Studies provides a critical introduction to the ways in which the category “data” is understood, produced, and deployed in the discipline of religious studies. The volume is organized into four different sections, entitled “Subjects,” “Objects,” “Scholars,” and “Institutions,” with an epilogue by Russell McCutcheon and Aaron Hughes.

The volume’s aim is to reflect, first, on the problems, strategies, and political structures through which scholars identify (and therefore create) data, and second, on the institutions, extensions, and applications of that data. The first three sections are spearheaded by a key essay and followed by four responses, all of which consider how the politics of the academy determine the very nature of the things we purport to study. The fourth section considers what these concepts look like as they are applied and further institutionalized in college and university structures, and itself includes four essays on “teaching,” “departments,” “research,” and “labor.” Finally, the epilogue closes the volume with a consideration on the politics of scholarly collegiality, transforming the data-makers (scholars) into data themselves.

Published: Oct 1, 2019

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Part I
Chapter 1 Annette Yoshiko Reed
Chapter 2 Adam Stewart
Chapter 3 M Adryael Tong
Chapter 4 John Soboslai
Chapter 5 Jennifer Selby
Part II
Chapter 6 Matthew Baldwin
Chapter 7 Petra Klug
Chapter 8 Holly White
Chapter 9 Peggy Schmeiser
Chapter 10 Lucas Wright
Part III
Chapter 11 Craig Martin
Chapter 12 Vaia Touna
Chapter 13 Martha Smith-Roberts
Chapter 14 Jason Ellsworth
Chapter 15 Joel Harrison
Part IV
Chapter 16: Teaching Richard Newton
Chapter 17: Departments Rebekka King
Chapter 18: Research Gregory Alles
Chapter 19: Labor James LoRusso
Part V
Chapter 20: The Gatekeeping Rhetoric of Collegiality in the Study of Religion Russell McCutcheon, Aaron Hughes