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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Date of Publication: 2010
Binding: hardcover
Condition: Good
Description: First printing with full number line; dustjacket faintly rubbed/bumped, corners/edges/spine ends very lightly rubbed; corners/spine ends of cover very faintly rubbed/bumped; edges very faintly soiled/sunned; interior very faintly age-toned throughout, very minor marginalia on 2 pp.; binding tight; dustjacket, cover, edges and interior intact and clean, except where noted.
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The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion Hardcover – March 1, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


"With his theory of religion, which gets by equitably without claims to absolute truth, Riesebrodt sociologically bridges the conflict potential of religions. In times of violent fundamentalisms, enlightened indifference, and naturalistic appropriation, this is no small feat."—Die Zeit, on the German edition
(Die Zeit)

About the Author

Martin Riesebrodt is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Chicago and the author of several books, including Pious Passion: The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and IranSteven Rendall has translated numerous books, including On Borrowed Time: The Art and Economy of Living with Deadlines by Harald Weinrich, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226713911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226713915
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I'm writing to balance the impression from the earlier reviewer (only one is there as I write). This book is indeed ambitious and probably makes some unwarranted generalizations here and there when talking about specific groups and histories. The section in which he syncs up his theory with a broad (necessarily selective) set of examples from across many times and places is the least satisfying part. I wanted to hear more about Native American and African cultures, but Riesebrodt seems to have less specialist knowledge there than he does in Asian religions.

Nevertheless this is a highly important intervention into debates in religious studies and sociology of religion. It is not in dialog primarily with specialists in particular religious groups, but with people who claim that the abstract concept "religion" refers meaningfully only to a particular discursive formation in the modern west and/or should be abandoned as a coherent overarching category. Contrary to the impression that the earlier reviewer gained, Riesebrodt makes acute, learned, and very welcome observations about the limitations of this way of thinking (as well as its real insights when used intelligently). He carefully defines a framework (rooted in Max Weber's interpretive tradition and emphasizing ritual practices) that constitutes a useful and timely intervention into precisely the current discussions that the earlier reviewer writes about when he says that "religion" is "increasingly recognized as troublesome and insufficient" as a cross-cultural concept.
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