Product Description A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion introduces the key concepts and theories from religious studies that are necessary for a full understanding of the complex relations between religion and society. The aim is to provide readers with an arsenal of critical concepts for studying religious ideologies, practices, and communities. This thoroughly revised second edition has been restructured to clearly emphasize key topics including: Essentialism Functionalism Authority Domination. All ideas and theories are clearly illustrated, with new and engaging examples and case studies throughout, making this the ideal textbook for students approaching the subject area for the first time. Review The best textbook for teaching an introductory course in religious studies has just gotten better with a new edition. Martinâs ability to make critical theory not only understandable, but also useful, to beginning students, is the primary strength of his book. His choice of examples, illustrating the complex theoretical issues he addresses, guarantees student learning will be both significant and â dare I say it â enjoyable. Charles William Miller, University of North Dakota,Â USAÂ A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion provides key strategies for disentangling the category "religion" and examining religious traditions as complex social phenomena. The text is an effective introduction to explanatory socio-functional approaches, which enable students to ask new sets of questions of their subject. The second edition is a comprehensive model for a new vision of Religious Studies. Kristian Petersen, University of Nebraska Omaha, USA About the Author Craig Martin is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, USA.