Toward a Philosophy of Religious Studies

Enecstatic Explorations

By Jim Kanaris

Subjects: Philosophy Of Religion, Theology, Religion
Hardcover : 9781438494548, 228 pages, September 2023
Paperback : 9781438494555, 228 pages, March 2024

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Table of contents


Part I. Delimiting Enecstasis

1. Enecstasis: A Disposition for Our Times?

2. The Enecstatic Jig: Personalizing Philosophy of Religion

Part II. Contouring Enecstatic Philosophy of Religious Studies

3. Philosophy of Religious Studies: The Changing Face of Philosophy of Religion

4. Philosophy of Religion Religious Studies Style

5. Derrida’s Philosophy of Religion for Religious Studies

Part III. The Heritage and Modus Operandi of Enecstasis

6. Theorizing Religion Enecstatically: The Transcendental Gesture in a New Key

7. Enecstatic Philosophy of Religious Studies: A Sidelong Bow to Self-Appropriation

8. The Normative Impetus of Enecstatic Philosophy of Religious Studies: Dialectic and Foundations


Offers a unique perspective on the study of religion revolutionized by contemporary continental thinking.


In this important work, Jim Kanaris provides a unique approach to the study of religion, aiming to alleviate the methodological and ideological barriers that divide philosophers, theologians, and social scientists. This is a "philosophy of religion" for a wider audience than that designation usually circumscribes, and, for that reason, Kanaris opts for the broader "philosophy of religious studies." He hybridizes insights principally from the works of Bernard Lonergan and Martin Heidegger but also those of Jacques Derrida, Charles Winquist, and Tyler Roberts, among others. Kanaris combines this with a distinctive hermeneutical approach that gives rise to what he calls "enecstatic" philosophy, one that manages the irreducible complexity of one's individuality, a singularity, in the negotiation of one's objects of concern. Toward a Philosophy of Religious Studies is unlike any other book in religious studies. It provides a unique way to surface personal involvement in the study of religion without compromising scholarly objectivity and philosophical integrity.

Jim Kanaris is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion at McGill University. His previous books include Reconfigurations of Philosophy of Religion: A Possible Future and Bernard Lonergan's Philosophy of Religion: From Philosophy of God to Philosophy of Religious Studies, both also published by SUNY Press.


"Kanaris argues that religious studies is more than just an academic discipline—it is where an encounter with the core of our own humanity takes place. Solidly grounded in the author's own experience of teaching religious studies, this book will be immensely helpful to all of those working in the field." — Colby Dickinson, Loyola University of Chicago