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ARDA Guiding Papers Series

The World Is Not Flat: Theorizing Religion in Comparative and Historical Context

by R. Stephen Warner


In his original essay “The World Is Not Flat: Theorizing Religion in Comparative and Historical Context,” R. Stephen Warner argues that proper theorizing and research on religion requires a deep understanding of location and cultural context. While still advocating general theoretical models, he asserts that “we do not overcome parochialism by neglecting the fact that religion always comes in contextual packages.”

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Please use the following when citing this paper:

Warner, R. Stephen. 2011. The World Is Not Flat: Theorizing Religion in Comparative and Historical Context (ARDA Guiding Paper Series). State College, PA: The Association of Religion Data Archives at The Pennsylvania State University, from http://www.thearda.com/rrh/papers/guidingpapers.asp.

R. Stephen Warner is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He publishes widely in sociology of religion and is a past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and past-chair of the ASA Religion Section. He is also the co-founder and program coordinator of CAGSRC, the Chicago-Area Group for the Study of Religious Communities and a member of the Congregational Studies Team.