Arbeitsschwerpunkte

Prof. Yelle verfügt über Studienabschlüsse in Philosophie, Rechtswissenschaft und Religionsgeschichte. Seine Veröffentlichungen reichen von semiotischer, strukturalistischer und linguistischer Analyse von Ritual und Mythos, über südasiatische Religionen in der Vormoderne und während der Kolonialzeit, bis hin zum Einfluss der protestantischen Reformation auf die europäische Kultur und Gesellschaft sowie dem Verhältnis von Religion, Politik, Recht und Wirtschaft.

Aktuelles Projekt

Aktuell arbeitet Prof. Yelle an einer Monographie zur Geschichte des politischen Säkularismus mit dem Arbeitstitel The Religion of Thomas Hobbes: The Birth of Secularism and the End of Political Mythology.

Curriculum Vitae

2002: Ph.D. in the History of Religions, University of Chicago

1993: J.D., University of California at Berkeley, Order of the Coif (class rank: 8 out of 300)

1988: A.B. in Philosophy, Harvard University, cum laude in General Studies

seit 2014: Professor for the Theory and Method of Religious Studies, LMU Munich

2013-14: Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Memphis

2006-13: Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Memphis

2005-06: Postdoctoral Fellow, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

2003-05: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of Toronto

2001-03: Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

1993-94: Corporate Attorney, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Los Angeles

1989-90: Legal Assistant, Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges, San Francisco

2021: Harris Distinguished Visiting Professor, Dartmouth College

2019: Finalist, AAR Award for Excellence in Constructive-Reflective Studies for Sovereignty and the Sacred (see Publications)

2017: Visiting Professor, University of Turin

2013-14: Joint Tikvah/Senior Emile Noël Fellow, Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization and Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice, New York University School of Law

2008-09: Collaborative Research Grant (with Prof. Winnifred Sullivan), American Academy of Religion, for “The Sacred/Secular Divide: The Legal Story II” conference

2006-07: Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

2001-02: Committee on Southern Asian Studies Dissertation Fellow, University of Chicago

2000-01: Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow, University of Chicago Divinity School

1999-2000: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow, Calcutta, India

1998: Social Science Research Council Predissertation Fellow, Dhaka, Bangladesh

1996-98: Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in Bengali

1992-93: Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in German

1992: Scholarship to the Hague Academy of International Law from the Ford Foundation Program in Public International Law at UC Berkeley Law School

1990-93: American Jurisprudence Awards (1st in class or section): Civil Procedure, Contracts, Comparative Law, International Law, International Trade Law, Law and Modern Social Thought, Professional Responsibility

1990-93: Prosser Prizes (2nd in class or section): Conceptions of Punishment, Jurisprudence

Publikationen

Sovereignty and the Sacred: Secularism and the Political Economy of Religion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019.

The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a Natural Language in Hindu Tantra. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.

“Deprovincializing Political Theology.” Special issue of Political Theology 23, nos. 1-2 (2022): 1-173.

Narratives of Disenchantment and Secularization: Critiquing Max Weber’s Idea of Modernity, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Lorenz Trein. London: Bloomsbury, 2021.

Interpreting and Explaining Transcendence: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Beyond, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Jenny Ponzo. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.

Mediation and Immediacy: The Semiotic Turn in the Study of Religion, ed. Jenny Ponzo, Robert A. Yelle, and Massimo Leone. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.

Language and Religion, ed. Robert A. Yelle, Courtney Handman, and Christopher I. Lehrich. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2019.

After Secular Law, ed. Winnifred F. Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

“Do Crowds Need Leaders? Representing the Body Politic after the Decline of Monarchy in Western Europe, from Hobbes to Durkheim,” Political Theology (published online 05 December 2022. Link zum Volltext

“After Sovereignty?” Author’s response to review symposium on Sovereignty and the Sacred in Religious Studies Review (published online 23 December 2022. Link zum Volltext

“Deprovincializing Political Theology: An Introduction,” Political Theology 23, nos. 1-2 (2022): 8-12.

“On Slaves, Aliens, and Other Threats to the Body Politic.” Political Theology 23 (2022): 482-90.

“Prodding the Leviathan: A Brief Response to Russell Sandberg’s Sociology of Religious Law.” Ancilla Iuris 2022: 93-96. Link zum Volltext

“On Mantras and Other ‘Untranslatable’ Forms of Religious Language.” In The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Religion, ed. Hephzibah Israel, 189-203. London: Routledge, 2022.

“Hobbes the Egyptian: The Return to Pharaoh, or the Ancient Roots of Secular Politics.” In Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence, ed. A. Azfar Moin and Alan Strathern, 223-48. New York: Columbia University Press, 2022.“

Exceptional Grace: Religion as the Sovereign Suspension of Law.” In Law as Religion, Religion as Law, ed. Benny Porat and David Flatto, 173-96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

“After Sovereignty?” Author’s response to review symposium on Sovereignty and the Sacred in the Journal of Law and Religion 36, no. 3 (2021): 563-73.

“Was Aśoka Really a Secularist Avant-la-Lettre? Ancient Indian Pluralism and Toleration in Historical Perspective.” Modern Asian Studies 56 (2022): 749-75.

“‘An Age of Miracles’: Disenchantment as a Secularized Theological Narrative.” In Narratives of Disenchantment and Secularization: Critiquing Max Weber’s Idea of Modernity, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Lorenz Trein, 129-48. London: Bloomsbury, 2021.

“History.” In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, ed. Robert A. Segal and Nickolas P. Roubekas, 2nd ed., 289-301. Chichester, Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons, 2021.

“Chastening and Disciplining Comparison: Bruce Lincoln and Oliver Freiberger on the Comparative Method in the Study of Religion.” Review symposium on Bruce Lincoln, Apples and Oranges and Oliver Freiberger, Considering Comparison. In Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 32 (2020): 482-90.

“Imagining Sacrifice in Ancient India: A Genealogy of Heesterman’s ‘Broken World,’” in South Asian Rituals in Archaeological Context: Power, Presence and Space, ed. Henry Albery, Jens-Uwe Hartmann, and Himanshu Prabha Ray, 19-38. London and Delhi: Routledge, 2020.

“‘By Fire and Sword’: Early English Critiques of Islam and Judaism as ‘Impostures’ or Political and ‘Unfree’ Religions,” Patterns of Prejudice 53 (2020): 91-108.

“From Sovereignty to Solidarity: Some Transformations in the Politics of Sacrifice from the Reformation to Robertson Smith,” History of Religions 58 (2019): 319-46.

“Protestant (An)aesthetics,” in Bloomsbury Handbook for the Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion, ed. Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens, 241-51. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

“Frozen Forms: An Inquiry into Magic Words and the Power of Names,” Lexia (October 2019): 35-47.

“Intertextuality, Iconicity, and Joint Speech: Three Dialogical Modes of Linguistic Performance in South Asian Traditions.” In Language and Religion, ed. Robert A. Yelle, Courtney Handman, and Christopher I. Lehrich, 57-67. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2019.

“Religionsfreiheit und die Säkularisierung religiösen Rechts aus der Perspektive eines Historikers.” In Hat Religiöses Recht eine Existenzberechtigung in säkularer Gesellschaft?, ed. Burkhard Berkmann, Kirche & Recht Beihefte, Band 1 (2019): 113-25.

“Réflexions sur la théorie sémiotique de Sacrosanctum Concilium.” In Désirs de réforme : Relectures de la Constitution conciliaire sur la liturgie, ed. Ângelo Cardita. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2018.

“Semiotics and Aesthetics: Historical and Structural Connections.” In Aesthetics of Religion: A Connective Concept, ed. Alexander K. Grieser and Jay Johnston, 465-71. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.

“The Peircean Icon and the Study of Religion: A Brief Overview.” Material Religion 12 (2016): 241-43. “Semiotics.” In Oxford Handbook of Religious Studies, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 208-19. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

“European Constructions of Hinduism.” With Lorenz Trein and Joydeep Bagchee. Oxford Bibliographies Online (published August 2016.Link zum Volltext

“Imagining the Hebrew Republic: Christian Genealogies of Religious Freedom.” In Politics of Religious Freedom, ed. Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter Danchin, 17-28. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

“Secular Blasphemies: Symbolic Offense in Modern Democracy.” In Profane: Sacrilegious Expression in a Multicultural Age, ed. Chistopher S. Grenda, Chris Beneke, and David Nash, 141-66. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

“Coda and Counterpoint.” Author’s response to review symposium on Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History. In Religion 44 (2014): 148-63.

“Spiritual Economies beyond the Sacred/Secular Paradigm: Or, What Did Religious Freedom Mean in Ancient India?” In Varieties of Religious Establishments, ed. Lori Beaman and Winnifred Sullivan, 15-32. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013.

Review article on Brad Gregory, The Unintended Reformation, symposium in Church History 81 (2012): 918-24.

“Comparative Religion as Cultural Combat: Occidentalism and Relativism in Rajiv Malhotra’s Being Different.” Review symposium on Rajiv Malhotra, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism in International Journal of Hindu Studies 16 (2012): 335-48.

“Semiotics.” In Handbook of Research Methods in Religious Studies, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 355-65. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

“Moses’ Veil: Secularization as Christian Myth.” In After Secular Law, ed. Winnifred F. Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, 23-42. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

“The End(s) of Sacrifice: Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto as a Christian Defense of Colonialism.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 23 (2011): 82-89.

“The Trouble with Transcendence: Carl Schmitt’s ‘Exception’ as a Challenge for Religious Studies.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 22 (2010): 189-206.

“Hindu Law as Performance: Ritual and Poetic Elements in Dharmasastra.” In Hinduism and Law: An Introduction, ed. Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr., and Jayanth K. Krishnan, 183-92. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

“Punishing Puns: Etymology as Linguistic Ideology in Hindu and British Traditions.” In Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle, ed. Steven E. Lindquist, 129-46. New York, London, Delhi: Anthem Press, 2010.

“The Hindu Moses: Christian Polemics against Jewish Ritual and the Secularization of Hindu Law under Colonialism.” History of Religions 49 (2009): 141-71.

“To Perform or Not to Perform?: A Theory of Ritual Performance versus Cognitive Theories of Religious Transmission.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 18 (2006): 372-91.

“The Rhetoric of Gesture in Cross-Cultural Perspective.” In “Gesture, Ritual and Memory,” ed. Paul Bouissac, special issue of Gesture 6 (2006): 223-40.

“Law’s Trouble with Images: Fetishism and Seduction from Athens and Jerusalem to Madison Avenue.” In Images in Law, ed. Anne Wagner and William Pencak, 267-79. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.

Editor, “The Spaces and Places of Law,” special issue of International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 19, no. 3 (2006).

“Bentham’s Fictions: Canon and Idolatry in the Genealogy of Law.” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 17 (2005): 151-79.

“Images of Law and its Others: Canon and Idolatry in the Discourses of British India.” Culture and Religion 6 (2005): 181-99.

“Poetic Justice: Rhetoric in Hindu Ordeals and Legal Formulas.” Religion 32 (2002): 259-72.

“Rhetorics of Law and Ritual: A Semiotic Comparison of the Law of Talion and Sympathetic Magic.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69 (2001): 627-47.

“The Rebirth of Myth?: Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence and its Romantic Antecedents.” Numen 47 (2000): 175-202.

“Discord and Concord in Buddhist Perspective,” with Frank Reynolds and Jason A. Carbine. In Ideas of Concord and Discord in Selected World Religions, ed. Joseph B. Gittler, 21-58. Stamford, CT: JAI Press, 2000.

(Not including ten encyclopedia articles, fourteen book reviews, and assorted blog posts.)