2“It’s (Not) Easy if You Try:” The Challenge to Imagine No Religion

Note: As indicated in the opening note of the preceding chapter, there is considerable distance between critiques of the category religion from two decades ago and the manner in which, today, scholars of note seem to feel obliged to take the criticism seriously and then try to rethink their own approaches. Though in this chapter I will raise problems that I find in Barton and Boyarin’s efforts, it is noteworthy that they tackled this topic in their co-authored book. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) panel on their book at the 2016 annual meeting, though I was fortunate to be asked to review it. Small portions of the following unpublished ...

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