What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Religion?

It depends on who is doing the talking. For some of us who understand religion to be a social fact, our ideas and embodied perceptions of what is “holy,” “real” “supernatural,” and the like all stem from systems of shared meaning and collective representation. For others, religion is more of an experiential and existential response to the condition of finitude that is fundamental to being human in our world. And for still others, even asking what the concept of “religion” is means asking a whole slew of bigger, messier questions about what modernity is and how it shapes our politics of knowledge. No doubt I am missing other voices, mysterious and mundane, on religion and the life of religion in the Divinity School. -- Angie Heo, Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion