Contested Religion: Concepts of Religion and the Implications for Empirical Research

March 27, 2014 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 13
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Open to the Public
Martin Riesbrodt (Graduate Institute Geneva)
Center for Religious Studies
CEU contact person: 
Esther Holbrook
+36 1 270-3000 ex2170
Contested Religion: Concepts of Religion and the Implications for Empirical Research

The Center for Religious Studies 
invites you to a Special Lecture

Martin Riesebrodt
(Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Contested 'Religion': Concepts of Religion and Their Implications for Empirical Research

Abstract: The concept of religion is a contested one. Postmodern critics reject it as a modern Western invention; functionalist sociologists have diluted it until it became empty. This talk will introduce an alternative concept and theory of religion. By taking the self-expression of religious traditions and actors seriously, it is generally applicable and offers unique insights into the existential conditions of various groups and categories of people.

Martin Riesebrodt is professor emeritus at both the Divinity School and at the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Since 2013, he has held the post of Yves Oltramare Professor for Religion and Politics in the Contemporary World at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He earned his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 1973 and achieved his Habilitation at the University of Munich in 1990. In his book Cultus und Heilsversprechen, Riesebrodt examines the regeneration of religion and fundamentalism in the modern world. Other notable publications include The Promise of Salvation. A Theory of Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2010), Pious Passion. The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran. (University of California Press, 1993), “Fundamentalism and Gender: Comments of Two Useful Concepts.