Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Clichés

stereotyping-religion-coverEdited by Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin

Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative. Many people uncritically assume that religion is intrinsically violent, or that religion makes people moral, or that it is simply “bullshit”. This concise volume tackles 10 of these stereotypes, addresses why scholars of religion find them to be cliched, describes their origins, and explains the social or political work they rhetorically accomplish in the present.

Written in an easy and accessible style, Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches will be of interest to all readers looking to clear away unsophisticated assumptions in preparation for more critical studies.

Table of Contents

1. “Religions are belief systems,” Sean McCloud
2. “Religions are intrinsically violent,” Matt Sheedy
3. “Religion makes people moral,” Jennifer Eyl
4. “Religion concerns the transcendent,” Leslie Dorrough Smith
5. “Religion is a private matter,” Robyn Faith Walsh
6. “Religions are mutually exclusive,” Steven W. Ramey
7. “I’m spiritual but not religious,” Andie Alexander and McCutcheon T. McCutcheon
8. “Learning about religion leads to tolerance,” Tenzan Eaghll
9. “Everyone has a faith,” James Dennis LoRusso
10. “Religion is bullshit,” Rebekka King