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Professor David Chidester

Comparative ReligionProf. David Chidester

Professor David Chidester is a prolific writer and an internationally acclaimed scholar in the field of comparative religion, Chidester's interests lie in the relationships between religion and globalization, religion and popular culture, religion in society and the problems of social cohesion. He has written extensively on religion in South Africa , North America , as well as religion and education. He is also a two-time winner of the American Academy of Religion's “Award for Excellence in Religious Studies”. In 2005, he was evaluated as an A-rated researcher by the National Research Foundation and received the Alan J. Pifer Award for Social Research.

Selected Publications

Empire of Religion: Imperialism and Comparative Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Religions of South Africa, Routledge Revivals (London: Routledge, 2014).

Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012). 280pp. ISBN 9780520273078; ISBN 9780520273085.

Savage Systems: Religion and Colonialism in Southern Africa (in Japanese). Trans. Nishimura Akira and Shim Sun-Young. Tokyo: Aoki-Shoten. 414 pages. ISBN 978-4-250-2109-9. 2010.

Savage Systems: Religion and Colonialism. Korea: Seoul Kyong Sae Won. 558pp. ISBN 978 89 8341 079 5. 2008.

Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture ( Berkeley : University of California Press, 2005).

Legacy of Freedom: The ANC's Human Rights Tradition , edited with Kader Asmal and Cassius Lubisi ( Johannesburg and Cape Town : Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2005)

South Africa's Nobel Laureates: Peace, Literature, and Science , edited with Kader Asmal and Wilmot James ( Johannesburg and Cape Town : Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2004).

Interfaith Solidarity: A Guide for Religious Communities, with Fannie du Toit and Charles Villa-Vicencio (Cape Town: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2004), 80 pages, ISBN 0-9584794-8-8. 

Religion, Politics, and Identity in a Changing South Africa , edited with Abdulkader Tayob and Wolfram Weisse ( Berlin : Waxmann, 2004).

What Holds Us Together: Social Cohesion in South Africa , edited with Phillip Dexter and Wilmot James ( Cape Town : HSRC Press, 2003).

Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple , and Jonestown , Revised Edition ( Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2003).

Nelson Mandela: From Freedom to the Future, edited with Kader Asmal and Wilmot James (Johannesburg and Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2003); Nelson Mandela, In His Own Words: From Freedom to the Future (London: Little, Brown, 2003); Nelson Mandela, In His Own Words (Boston: Little, Brown, 2004).

Patterns of Transcendence: Religion, Death, and Dying , Second Edition ( Belmont , Calif. : Wadsworth , 2002).

Shūr-i jāvidānigī. Translated by Ghoolamhossein Tavacoly (Ghum : Markaz-i Muṭāliāt va Taḥghīghāt-i Adyān va Maz̲āhib̲, 2001).

Christianity: A Global History ( London : Allen Lane/Penguin; San Francisco : HarperCollins, 2000).

Diversity as Ethos: Challenges for Interreligious and Intercultural Education, edited with Janet Stonier and Judy Tobler (Cape Town: Institute for Comparative Religion in Southern Africa, 1999).

African Traditional Religion in South Africa : An Annotated Bibliography , with Chirevo Kwenda, Robert Petty, Judy Tobler, and Darrel Wratten (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997).

Christianity in South Africa : An Annotated Bibliography , with Judy Tobler and Darrel Wratten (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997).

Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism in South Africa , with Judy Tobler and Darrel Wratten (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997).

Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996).

American Sacred Space , edited with Edward T. Linenthal (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995).

Religion in Public Education: Options for a New South Africa , with Gordon Mitchell, Isabel Apawo Phiri, and A. Rashied Omar, 2nd. ed. (Cape Town: UCT Press, 1994).

Word and Light: Seeing, Hearing, and Religious Discourse (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992).

Religions of South Africa (London: Routledge, 1992).

Shots in the Streets: Violence and Religion in South Africa (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991; Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Patterns of Transcendence: Religion, Death, and Dying (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1990).

Salvation and Suicide: An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988; paperback edition, 1991)
Patterns of Power: Religion and Politics in American Culture (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988).

Patterns of Power: Religion and Politics in American Culture (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988).

Patterns of Action: Religion and Ethics in a Comparative Perspective (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1987).