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Literature Review: Humanities

Religion

Goal

The overall objective of a literature review in Religious Studies is to provide an evidence based interpretation of a preexisting text, whether it be religious scripture itself or another scholar’s analysis.

Structure

The targeted audience of these reviews are generally those who have a good understanding of the religions discussed.

Strategy

As with psychology, first introduce your thesis. Afterwards, establish and cite religious authority. Define the key terms that you will be working with, because religious terms often have nuances and associations. It is critical for all readers to start from the same place of understanding. Then, analyze and connect the religious quotes used to your thesis in order to construct a cogent argument.

Tips

When writing a literature review in Religious Studies, it is important to establish authority. This could be through quoting prominent figures who study religion or through citing religious texts. The arguments should be grounded in the religions discussed. An effective strategy would be to use a writing style similar to those found in religious texts, providing a familiar framework for readers and subtly connecting the piece to a higher authority. If applicable, the arguments should also ground themselves in reality so that the readers can connect abstract religious ideas to everyday life.