What is Theory?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William D. Hart, Professor and Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Believing and Acting (2012) is equally erudite and witty. Known for his good humor, Davis uses wit to make the medicine he dispenses go down more easily. For the patient—that is, scholars engaged in the study of religion who are concerned about proper “methods and approaches”—the prognosis is rather good. But Davis’s wit, I suspect, may also encourage us to move too quickly past some of the claims that he makes. I wish to explore one such claim, namely, his assertion that the study of religion does not need theory. I consider myself a critical theorist of religion, so my engagement with Davis’s argument is not merely business, it’s personal. Though heartfelt, I should hope that the last sentence is taken with a grain of humor. To preview my argument, I shall offer a negative assessment of Davis’s claim about the utility of theory in the study of religion.

Additional Information

Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 95(2), 141-148
Language: English
Date: 2012
Religion, Theory

Email this document to