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Nine Theories of Religion, third edition, considers nine of the most important religious theories that have been put forward since the scientific approach to religion first caught the imagination of nineteenth century scholars. In each case, the theory is presented by discussing the background of its major spokesman, discussing key ideas as they are presented in text, noticing its distinctive features in comparison with other theories, and recording the main objections raised by its critics.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Daniel Pals
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release: 2014-09-08
File: 374 Pages
ISBN-13: 0199859094

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Why do human beings believe in divinities? Why do some seek eternal life, while others seek escape from recurring lives? Why do the beliefs and behaviors we typically call "religious" so deeply affect the human personality and so subtly weave their way through human society? Revised andupdated in this second edition, Eight Theories of Religion considers how these fundamental questions have engaged the most important thinkers of the modern era. Accessible, systematic, and succinct, the text examines the classic interpretations of religion advanced by theorists who have left a majorimprint on the intellectual culture of the twentieth century. The second edition features a new chapter on Max Weber, a revised introduction, and a revised, expanded conclusion that traces the paths of further inquiry and interpretation traveled by theorists in the most recent decades.Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, begins with Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer--two Victorian pioneers in anthropology and the comparative study of religion. It then considers the great "reductionist" approaches of Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, all of whom haveexercised wide influence up to the present day. The discussion goes on to examine the leading challenges to reductionism as articulated by sociologist Max Weber (new to this edition) and Romanian-American comparativist Mircea Eliade. Finally, it explores the newer methods and ideas arising from theAfrican field studies of ethnographer E. E. Evans-Pritchard and the interpretive anthropology of Clifford Geertz. Each chapter offers biographical background, theoretical exposition, conceptual analysis, and critical assessment. This common format allows for close comparison and careful evaluationthroughout. Ideal for use as a supplementary text in introductory religion courses or as the central text in sociology of religion and courses centered on the explanation and interpretation of religion, Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, offers an illuminating treatment of thiscontroversial and fascinating subject.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Daniel L. Pals
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release: 2006
File: 340 Pages
ISBN-13: UOM:39015063249182

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What is religion? How is it to be explained? Why do human beings believe in divinities? Why do the beliefs and behaviors we typically describe as religious so deeply affect the human personality and so subtly weave their way through human society? Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists presents eleven key texts from influential theorists who played a pivotal role in the modern enterprise of explaining the phenomenon of religion. These writings seek to account for the origin, function, and enduring human appeal of religion by drawing on methods of scientific scholarship unconstrained by theological creeds or confessional commitments. An ideal companion to author Daniel L. Pals' textbook, Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, or other beginning texts, Introducing Religion opens with selections from the works of Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer--Victorian pioneers in anthropology and the comparative study of religion. It then offers entry into the provocative analyses of Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, whose aggressive reductionist approaches framed the explanatory debate for much of the century to follow. Responses to reductionist theories--and new directions in explanation--claim a place in selections from the works of philosopher-psychologist William James, theologian Rudolf Otto, sociologist Max Weber, and comparativist Mircea Eliade. The volume ends with discussions drawn from the celebrated field studies of British anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard and the interpretive anthropology of American theorist Clifford Geertz, whose fieldwork took him to both Asia and the Middle East. Brief career portraits of the theorists at the outset of each chapter give context to the readings, and a general introduction features guiding questions designed to help students assess and compare the different theories. Offering an illuminating overview of this controversial and engaging subject, Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists is ideal for introductory courses in religion as well as courses in method and theory of religion, world religions, and sociology, psychology, or anthropology of religion.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Daniel L. Pals
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release: 2009
File: 374 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195181484

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Interest in theories of religion has never been greater. Scholars debate single theoretical approaches in different scholarly journals, while the ‘new atheists’ such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett criticize the whole idea of religion. For everyone eager to understand the current state of the field, Contemporary Theories of Religion surveys the neglected landscape in its totality. Michael Stausberg brings together leading scholars of the field to review and discuss seventeen contemporary theories of religion. As well as scholars of religion, it features anthropologists, archaeologists, classicists, evolutionary biologists, philosophers and sociologists. Each chapter provides students with background information on the theoretician, a presentation of the theory’s basic principles, an analysis of basic assumptions, and a review of previous critiques. Concluding with a section entitled 'Back and Forth', Stausberg compares the different theories and points to further avenues of discussion for the future.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Michael Stausberg
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2009-06-19
File: 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781134041480

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'Theory for Religious Studies' takes major theoretical writers in the humanities & social sciences, & explains their relevance to the study of religion.

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Genre: Religion
Author: William E. Deal
Publisher: Psychology Press
Release: 2004
File: 168 Pages
ISBN-13: 0415966388

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A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion introduces the key concepts and theories from religious studies that are necessary for a full understanding of the complex relations between religion and society. The aim is to provide readers with an arsenal of critical concepts for studying religious ideologies, practices, and communities. This thoroughly revised second edition has been restructured to clearly emphasize key topics including: Essentialism Functionalism Authority Domination. All ideas and theories are clearly illustrated, with new and engaging examples and case studies throughout, making this the ideal textbook for students approaching the subject area for the first time.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Craig Martin
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2017-04-21
File: 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781315474397

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A century that began with modernism sweeping across Europe is ending with a remarkable resurgence of religious beliefs and practices throughout the world. Wherever one looks today, from headlines about political turmoil in the Middle East to pop music and videos, one cannot escape the pivotal role of religious beliefs and practices in shaping selves, societies, and cultures. Following in the very successful tradition of Critical Terms for Literary Studies and Critical Terms for Art History, this book attempts to provide a revitalized, self-aware vocabulary with which this bewildering religious diversity can be accurately described and responsibly discussed. Leading scholars working in a variety of traditions demonstrate through their incisive discussions that even our most basic terms for understanding religion are not neutral but carry specific historical and conceptual freight. These essays adopt the approach that has won this book's predecessors such widespread acclaim: each provides a concise history of a critical term, explores the issues raised by the term, and puts the term to use in an analysis of a religious work, practice, or event. Moving across Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Native American and Mayan religions, contributors explore terms ranging from experience, territory, and image, to God, sacrifice, and transgression. The result is an essential reference that will reshape the field of religious studies and transform the way in which religion is understood by scholars from all disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, gender studies, and literary studies.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Mark C. Taylor
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2008-09-15
File: 430 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780226791739

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This book challenges the traditional idea that religions can be understood primarily as texts to be interpreted, decoded, or translated. In More Than Belief, Manuel A. Vásquez argues for a new way of studying religions, one that sees them as dynamic material and historical expressions of the practices of embodied individuals who are embedded in social fields and ecological networks. He sketches the outlines of this approach through a focus on body, practices, and space. In order to highlight the centrality of these dimensions of religious experience and performance, Vásquez recovers materialist currents within religious studies that have been consistently ignored or denigrated. Drawing on state-of-the-art work in fields as diverse as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, critical theory, environmental studies, cognitive psychology, and the neurosciences, Vásquez offers a groundbreaking new way of looking at religion.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Manuel A. Vasquez
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2020-04-08
File: 392 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780197541685

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Is it true that religion is weakening in modern times, or are we facing religious resurgence? What is fundamentalism? How does it emerge and grow? What role does religion play in ethnic and national conflicts? Is religion a fundamental driving force or do political leaders use religion for their own purposes? Do all religions oppress women? These are some of the questions addressed in this book. An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion provides an overview of sociological theories of contemporary religious life. Some chapters are organized according to topic. Others offer brief presentations of classical and contemporary sociologists from Karl Marx to Zygmunt Bauman and their perspectives on social life, including religion. Throughout the book, illustrations and examples are taken from several religious traditions.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Inger Furseth
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2017-03-02
File: 252 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781351958660

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In this new book, author Russell McCutcheon offers a powerful critique of traditional scholarship on religion, focusing on multiple interrelated targets. Most prominent among these are the History of Religions as a discipline; Mircea Eliade, one of the founders of the modern discipline; recent scholarship on Eliade's life and politics; contemporary textbooks on world religions; and the oft-repeated bromide that "religion" is a sui generis phenomenon. McCutcheon skillfully analyzes the ideological basis for and service of the sui generis argument, demonstrating that it has been used to constitute the field's object of study in a form that is ahistoric, apolitical, fetishized, and sacrosanct. As such, he charges, it has helped to create departments, jobs, and publication outlets for those who are comfortable with such a suspect construction, while establishing a disciplinary ethos of astounding theoretical naivete and a body of scholarship to match. Surveying the textbooks available for introductory courses in comparative religion, the author finds that they uniformly adopt the sui generis line and all that comes with it. As a result, he argues, they are not just uncritical (which helps keep them popular among the audiences for which they are intended, but badly disserve), but actively inhibit the emergence of critical perspectives and capacities. And on the geo-political scale, he contends, the study of religion as an ahistorical category participates in a larger system of political domination and economic and cultural imperialism.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Russell T. McCutcheon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 1997-06-19
File: 272 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195355687

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