Approaches to the Study of Religion Joseph Adler Ascension 312 427-5290 adlerj@kenyon.edu Fall 2005 TTh 2:40-4:00 Ascension 120 Office hours: MW 3-4, TTh 1-2:30 and by appointment This course introduces students to the variety of academic approaches to the study of religion and to the Consider an analogy with marriage. How can we best identify and protect the normative values which historically have underpinned freedom of religion, non-establishment and the like? Reformulated in this way, Sullivan’s critique has bite. The normative objection is slightly different. What Wittgenstein said about the concept of “game” also applies to the concept of “religion”: the fact that we cannot identify a single feature that all religions exhibit does not mean that the concept of religion is meaningless. aspects. Not surprisingly perhaps, the work of those scholars who have most influenced the “critical religion” school, such as Asad and Mahmood, explicitly aims to provide a thick anthropological description of the complexity and diversity of religious experience—it brings out, for example, the distinctive modes of Muslim religious subjectivity. The implications of the first approach have been resisted in many quarters. Critics have pointed out that—by analogizing religion with individual conscience or conceptions of the good—liberalism reveals its Protestant, individualistic bias, and is unable to capture the fullness of the religious experience. Comparative Religious Studies; 6. Although I cannot make the full case here, I sketch a preliminary defense of the third approach, in the context of recent debates in political theory. more suitable for academic study), the emergence of phenomena such as televangelism led to renewed interest in the relationships between media and religion. We pick out, from the complex notion of “religion” that we have inherited, distinct elements and values that democratic law has good reason to protect. Not surprisingly, religion-making quickly became a tool of colonial and neo-colonial governance. Approaches to the Study of Religion book. There are two main reasons for this suspicion. She is the Director of UCL’s Religion and Political Theory Centre. It is a rich concept that connects to vocabularies that bring persons and things, desires, and practices in particular traditions in distinctive ways. Format: PDF, ePub, Docs Category : Religion Languages : en Pages : 497 View: 7627. First, as religion is not a “thing” but a term of art, it is perfectly legitimate—as suggested above—that different dimensions of it are appropriated in different disciplines and areas of life. Get Book. The concept exhibits “a complex continuum of resemblances and differences.” In sum, the “anthropological” objection urges us to take both ordinary language and ordinary experience seriously. The Immanent Frame publishes interdisciplinary perspectives on religion, secularism, and the public sphere. Approaches in Psychology - Psychologist World Area Study Approach. Thus in principle it is the study of all religions from a viewpoint not isolated within any one of them. 1. Download Classical Approaches To The Study … Methodological Approaches to the Study of Religion Extract Keywords: faith, tradition, transcendence, method, temperamental attitude 2.1 Theological Approach Early religious studies as a scientific discipline started from the second half of the 19th century. Classical Approaches To The Study Of Religion Classical Approaches To The Study Of Religion by Jacques Waardenburg, Classical Approaches To The Study Of Religion Books available in PDF, EPUB, Mobi Format. Religion should be disaggregated into a number of different values which relate to the law of the liberal state in different ways. Author: Jacques Waardenburg Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG ISBN: 3110473593 Size: 70.29 MB Format: PDF, Docs View: 713 Get Books. Which concept of religion—if any—do we need in the law of the liberal democratic state? Approach. the study of religion which includes four follo wing approaches: doctrinal analysis, social. Third, the secular separation between a privatized, individualized sphere of religion and a public, social, rational sphere of politics has obscured the way in which the state, the nation, and the law operate as the modern sacred. Theories about the Origin and Development of Religions; 5. To ask that the law embrace and describe the whole of social reality would be to yearn for a totalitarian law. expression, subjective experi ence and scientific (objec tive) research [1, p. 11]. Required fields are marked *. The disaggregating approach helps us answer this critique. They argue, for example, that exemptions from general laws can be justified on the ground of conscience; and that what the state should not “establish” are conceptions of the good. Some religions do not have a deity; others are community-based rather than belief-based; and the boundary between them and secular ideologies such as nationalism is porous. The modern sovereign state is grounded in a distinctive political theology that mobilizes the structural categories of metaphysics and theology to bolster and consolidate the higher identity of secular citizenship. So neutrality, for liberals such as Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, is “generalized non-establishment.” Egalitarian theorists of religious freedom offer a compelling response to the “critical religion” school. Let me get back to the starting point of our inquiry: Is religion a valid category of scholarly research? From this perspective, the egalitarian strategy of analogizing religion is a productive one: the law should not capture “religion” as such, but whatever dimensions of religion are normatively salient and suitable for legal protection. Talal Asad and Saba Mahmood have shown, for instance, that liberal secularism requires individual belief—not communal observance, rituals or embodied piety—to be taken as the essence of religiosity. The Study of Religion : A Historical Approach (1967), such discoveries were seldom considered in their own right; seldom allowed to `speak for themselves' . This is the first book to provide an introduction to contemporary cultural approaches to the study of religion. So critics confuse an empirical inquiry (describing what religion is) with a normative inquiry (accounting for its status in the law). Religious beliefs, in particular, are only one sub-set of a larger class, which political philosophers, following John Rawls, call “conceptions of the good.” On this view, a liberal state protects, not only freedom of religion, but more generally freedom of conscience; it disestablishes, not only dominant religion, but also any controversial conception of the good. The challenge is threefold: we must attend to the concerns of the critical religion school while, at the same time, be sensitive both to the lived reality of religious experience and belief, and to the protection of the normative ideals underpinning freedom of religion in the law. The first is that religion is (as Daniel Dubuisson once wrote) “the West’s most characteristic concept, around which it has established and developed its identity.” There is a deep and significant continuity between the Christian defense of the “true religion” and the nineteenth-century invention of “world religions.” The universalism of the concept masked an internally hierarchical classificatory scheme, which, as Tomoko Mazuzawa has shown, was crafted within the crucible of the missionary and colonial encounter. Items is a space for engagement with insights from the work of the Council and the social sciences. These (and others) are all legitimate uses of the concept of religion. The worry here is the hard-won liberal right to religious freedom will not elicit much respect if the existence of religion itself is radically questioned. Although the phenomenology of religion emerges as both a major field of study and an extremely influential approach to religion, formulating an essay on this subject poses serious difficulties. Even this cursory summary of this first approach is, I hope, sufficient to convey the force and depth of the critique of religion. Religion is a concept created by modern scholars and superimposed on a variety of different phenomena for a variety of motives. Your email address will not be published. The Hijab Controversy in Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press 2008). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. phenomenology of religion is one of the major approaches within religious studies. How would a strategy of “disaggregating religion” help here? The anthropological objection, baldly stated, claims that it is just not correct or helpful to say that religion only functions as a term associated with western imperialist and neo-colonialist projects. The SSRC is an independent, international, nonprofit organization. The law does not describe and regulate the full experience of marriage: the fact that, in law, marriage is a contract does not mean that marriage is, or should be experienced as, a contract. The aim of this paper is to give an outline of key approaches to the study of media and religion, and to direct you towards resources that can help you explore these in more depth. Is religion a valid category of scholarly inquiry? Ever since the study of religion became a discipline independent of Christian In fact, they were perhaps even too eager and hurried . From this perspective, it would be a mistake to think that conceptual imprecision is in itself an obstacle to scholarly inquiry. (PDF) Approaches to the study of globalization This article throws light on the four important approaches to the study of organisational behavior, i.e, (1) Human Resource Approach, (2) Contingency Approach, (3) Productivity Approach, and (4) System Approach. Nor does the origin of a concept in itself discredit its uses: the concept may well have been forged in the crucible of missionary and colonial encounters, but its meanings and uses have further proliferated in non-colonial and post-colonial settings, in ways that escaped, distorted, and subverted the original discourse. African Agency and a Biden Administration: Lessons from Trump’s Presidency, Covid-19: A Closer Look at Emerging Trends in Africa, a complex continuum of resemblances and differences, Nature and normativity: New inquiries into the natural world, Scales of justice for environmental ethics: A reply to Hennessy and Hoesterey, Provincializing the environmental humanities: An Islamic view, Ethical response and the environmental humanities. Her last book is Critical Republicanism. About Approaches to the Study of Religion. In this post, I briefly set out three distinct approaches to the study of religion: criticizing religion, upholding religion, and disaggregating religion. The disaggregated approach does not claim that it captures the fullness of the lived, anthropological reality of religion. 5/18/2020 Sophia : Welcome Score 23/25 You passed this … Methodological Approaches to the Study of Religion; 2.1 Theological Approach; 2.2 Philosophical Approach; 2.3 Religious Approaches; 3. Revisited: Why do evangelicals vote for Trump? The first European missionaries had thought that the native peoples of the Americas or Africa had no religion—only “cultures” or “superstitions.” Once colonized, it was discovered that they did have religion after all. Second, however, we may ask whether the normative analogy used by egalitarian theorists of religious freedom is the right one. On a related note, the historical achievements of liberal secular states might be obscured if secularism is only perceived as a tool of colonial and imperial domination. She has published extensively in the areas of republicanism and toleration, theories of law and the state, and global justice. It fosters innovative research, nurtures new generations of social scientists, deepens how inquiry is practiced within and across disciplines, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues. If religion is a western concept that has been used to shore up the authority of the colonial and sovereign state, through shifting, arbitrary demarcations between “religion” tradition, culture, reason, and the nation, then scholars should be wary of treating it as a stable, coherent object of academic study. Phone: 212-377-2700 • Fax: 212-377-2727. But perhaps we should apply to religion something like Ludwig Wittgenstein’s theory of family resemblance. The specific question which political and legal philosophers (should) ask themselves is this. discursive study of religion, historical discourse analysis, social constructivism, defijinitions of reli-gion, sociology of knowledge Although established as an independent discipline at European universities more than one hundred years ago, the academic study of religion is still wres-tling with severe problems of identity and legitimization. The Inside Perspective versus the Outside Perspective; 4. The point has been made with particular acuity by legal scholar Winnifred Fallers Sullivan in her book The Impossibility of Religious Freedom. Here I focus on two objections—which, for ease of presentation, I call the “anthropological” and the “normative” objection. PDF | The issue of methodological approach in the study of religion has remained an enigma to many scholars of science of religion... | Find, read and cite all … First, different disciplines will have different answers to the question of what the concept of religion is for; and as a result they will work with different conceptions of religion. Egalitarian theorists of religious freedom, from this perspective, are right to seek to identify the normative grounds on which certain beliefs and practices call for state protection (or state restraint, in the case of non-establishment). This is an important critique, which draws on what I have called the first (critical) and the second (anthropological) approach to religion. Intellectual historians and students of political thought study religious traditions as coherent, inter-generational, scholarly bodies of thought—the “Islamic” or the “Christian” or the “Confucian” tradition, for example. As de Vries puts it: `The nineteenth-century scholars made abundant use of the new materials. For “egalitarian theorists of religious freedom” (as I call them), there is nothing special about religion as such. Religious studies, also known as the study of religion, is an academic field devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions.It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives. It is Jacques Waardenburg’s merit to have assembled in Classical Approaches to the Study of Religion well-chosen excerpts from the works of forty-one scholars, from Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815-1887) to Joachim Wach (1898-1955), who sought to explain this most peculiar of human creations. Social Science Research Council Secularism and freedom of religion, in liberal thought, are connected to moral values such as individual autonomy, moral self-determination, freedom of conscience as well as more political ideals such as non-theocratic constitutional democracy, separation of church and state, and non-establishment of the dominant religion. In the development of the study of religion as a new discipline in the twentieth century, the pioneers of the field were often at pains to stress that what they did was different from theology. Definitions, approaches and methodologies in the study of religions Santanu K. Patro Introduction In the recent past the study of religions has been established as an indepen­ dent discipline, thanks to the development of the scientific approach. Yet the strategy of “disaggregating religion” has a further, more portentous implication for normative political theory. In this post, I briefly set out three distinct approaches to the study of religion: criticizing religion, upholding religion, and disaggregating religion. Anthropologists, for example, legitimately study a key dimension of human experience—the religious experience—in its diversity and unruliness. It may well be that egalitarian theorists have picked a normatively problematic, or normatively narrow, analogy for religion. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. Instead, I shall merely sketch an alternative strategy. A response to Crockford. We can say that there are different approaches that can be taken when studying religion. 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