Seven Narratives of Religion
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Schewel, B. “Seven Narratives of Religion: A Framework for Engaging Contemporary Research”. The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, vol. 25, no. 1-2, June 2015, pp. 53-72, doi:10.31581/jbs-25.1-2.4(2015).


The purpose of this article is to explore how the contemporary academic discourse on religion is, on the whole, beginning to resonate with the broader vision of religion provided by the Bahá’í Writings. Toward this end, I argue that the contemporary academic discourse on religion pivots around seven narrative frameworks, which I describe respectively as the (1) subtraction, (2) renewal, (3) transsecular, (4) postnaturalist, (5) construct, (6) perennial, and (7) developmental narratives. Each of the narratives offers unique insights into the historical evolution of religion and the changing place of religion in the modern world, many of which align with the Bahá’í teachings. I endeavor to substantiate this claim in three steps. First, I discuss the theory of secularization and the nature of its recent disruption in order to elucidate the narrative problematic that lies at the heart of the contemporary academic  discourse on religion. Second, I analyze the seven narrative frameworks and show how each resonates with certain aspects of Bahá’í teachings. And third, I conclude by considering how my typology of seven narratives could be used to frame further inquiry.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you wish to adapt, remix, transform, or build upon this work in any way, you may not distribute your work without first contacting the Editor for permission.

Copyright © 2015 Benjamin Schewel