Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

Martha G. Hamner

Keywords

Fredric Jameson, religious studies method, religious studies theory, social theory

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

This dissertation argues that the critical methods developed by and used within the field of religious studies can be reimagined as an expression of the modern desire for Utopia. It investigates how applications of critical social theory occlude the category of experience either deliberately or through methodological slight. Utopia addresses this problematic of representing the existential dimension of social life through its particular formulation of social contradiction. Analyzing Utopia's own representational situation within modernity affords scholars in religion a means to consider their investments in and desires for representing society as a totality that creates the conditions for and anticipates resolutions to these contradictions.

Access

Open Access

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