This chapter examines humanistic encounters with religious writing and theology. Scholars who emphasize the theoretical difficulty of naturalistic interpretations of religion often describe such struggles as “theology” (or religionism). However, the chapter argues that scholars of religion, specifically those engaging in humanistic inquiry, have much to learn from theology about questions of location, criticism, and power. It looks at how scholars Amy Hollywood and Romand Coles agree with religious thinkers on topics such as finitude, power, and self-dispossession as part of their practical and theoretical reasoning about issues like human loss and radical democracy. These theorists contribute to the knowledge of religion by going against traditional secular scholarship and viewing religious thought not just as objects of study, but also as sources of analytic categories and ethical orientations that can play a significant role to the construction of meaningful worlds.
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