Current Issue: Volume 7, Number 2

By: Lyn Lord

This issue builds on JITP’s inaugural Integral Spirituality issue (Vol. 6, No. 1) while simultaneously launching the field of Integral Religious Studies. In the editorial introduction, the guest editors clearly lay out their vision for the issue and set the stage for the evolution of the field. Then, Dustin DiPerna creates the blueprint for Integral Religious Studies with his opening piece on human development within the context of religious studies.* Next, Sarah Nicholson’s piece is a great reminder of the value of the feminine in crafting a discourse within religious studies. Mark Schmanko’s article explores the recent work of Jeffrey Kripal, an author whose work has long been in need of integral treatment, and Bruce Alderman’s piece is noteworthy in that he takes on for the first time in a substantial way the issue of translineage practice. Following Alderman’s article, Amod Lele raises critical questions about Integral Theory’s purported inclusion of the core aspects of premodern traditions, a critique that he also applies to Integral Theory more generally. In addition to these pieces, Karen De Looze offers an extended article on integral anthropology that demonstrates “embodied religious writing” (i.e., expressing a religious sensibility in the context of other disciplines). In the Perspectives section of the issue, we include a transcript of a speech by William Paden that serves to provide a broader context for an integrally informed approach to religious studies. Finally, Alderman also provides a valuable book review of Jorge Ferrer and Jacob Sherman’s The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies (SUNY Press, 2008). All together, these eight pieces provide a strong foundation for the further development of the field of Integral Religious Studies.

* A critical response to DiPerna’s article can be found here. DiPerna has also written a rejoinder.   

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