I am big fan of of Craig Martin (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College) and his scholarship. His wonderful book A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion has just been published in the second edition by Routledge. If you are interested in a teaser I interviewed him about the book for New Books in Religion, and reviewed the book for Journal of the American Academy of Religion back in 2013 (it was originally published in 2012). i’ve used the book for several years now in my World Religions course with great success. Now I’ve had the pleasure of writing a short review blurb for the 2nd edition’s back cover. It reads:
A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion provides key strategies for disentangling the category “religion” and examining religious traditions as complex social phenomena. The text is an effective introduction to explanatory socio-functional approaches, which enable students to ask new sets of questions of their subject. The second edition is a comprehensive model for a new vision of Religious Studies.
I would encourage everyone to check out the book and try it in your course. It really does provide an accessible set of tools for students to explore their subjects with.