So, you heard the news? Culture on the Edge has expanded the core group and gone back to basics; the peer review guest blog (what we call Chapter 2, up on the main menu) is still here and looking for interesting posts, of course, but just as our focus on a common book helped to get this initiative off the ground (as you may recall, it was a book by J-F Bayart) we’ve decided that we’re going to read a couple books each semester, together.
One new and one old, and both always written by scholars from outside the study of religion — both of which are worth considering (or re-considering), we think. And the blog that we’re calling Chapter 3, where this post appears, will — much like Chapter 1 was for our reactions and applications of Bayart’s work — be our Petri dish for playing around with, and applying, what we find there.
So we’re meeting, as a group, online, to discuss these books, in late October for Brubaker’s new book and then in early November for White’s collection of essays. So if you’ve not read either then maybe you’ll want to tackle one or the other — or maybe both. Chapter 2 is wide open for submissions, if either of them gets your creative juices flowing — or anything else in the ballpark of the sort of analysis that we offer, for that matter.
And as for next semester? We’ll pick a couple more books — always one new and one old — and see where they lead us. And who knows — we may find that our work in the study of religion improves as we peer over the shoulders of people in other fields who seem to be doing some interesting work.