WHY STUDY RELIGION? WHAT IS RELIGION? SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT STUDYING RELIGION PRESSING CONCERNS IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION WHAT WILL I STUDY? WHERE CAN I GO WITH IT? WHERE DO I START?

This website is sponsored and developed by the American Academy of Religion, and was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Founded in 1909, the Academy is the world's largest association of academics who research or teach topics related to religion.

In a world where religion plays so central a role in social, political, and economic events, as well as in the lives of communities and individuals, there is a critical need for ongoing reflection upon and understanding of religious traditions, issues, questions, and values. The Academy's mission is to promote such reflection through excellence in scholarship and teaching in the field of religion.

As a learned society and professional association of teachers and research scholars, the American Academy of Religion has over 9,000 members who teach in some 1,500 colleges, universities, seminaries, and schools in North America and abroad. The Academy is dedicated to furthering knowledge of religion and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations. This is accomplished through Academy-wide and regional conferences and meetings, publications, programs, and membership services. Within a context of free inquiry and critical examination, the Academy welcomes all disciplined reflection on religion--both from within and outside of communities of belief and practice--and seeks to enhance its broad public understanding.

For further information about the Academy please go to: www.aarweb.org

To contact the Why Study Religion webmaster, please email: admin@studyreligion.org

Site Design and Coding by Cat McEarchern

Written by: Brad Herling
Brad Herling is a full-time instructor in the Core Humanities Curriculum at Boston University and part-time instructor of religion and philosophy at Emerson College. After receiving his B.A. from Wesleyan University, he worked as an administrative assistant for the American Academy of Religion for two years and then took up graduate studies in the philosophy of religion at Boston University, from which he received his Ph.D. in January of 2004. The dissertation, which he has begun to revise for publication, treats the reception of the Bhagavad-Gita by German intellectuals at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He is generally interested in the philosophical approach to the study of religion, and in particular his work attempts to chart the relationship between the history of the study of Indian religious texts and contemporary theory and method in the field. In addition, he is interested in more traditional issues in philosophy of religion, including comparative analysis of the problem of evil, religion and war, and death and the after-life.

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