William James 's The varieties of Religious Experience analyzed personal experience as contrasted with the social phenomenon of religion. Some issues of concern to the psychologist of religions are the psychological nature of religious conversion, the making of religious decisions, religion and happiness, and the psychological factors in evaluating religious claims. Sigmund Freud was another figure in the field of psychology and religion. He used his psychoanalytic theory to explain religious beliefs, practices, and rituals, in order to justify the role of religion in the development of human culture. Sociology of religion edit main article: Sociology of religion The sociology of religion concerns the dialectical relationship between religion and society ; the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles of religion in society. 22 There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout recorded history.
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History of religion edit see also: History of religion The history of religions is not concerned with theological claims apart from their historical significance. Some topics of this discipline are the historicity of religious figures, events, and the evolution of doctrinal matters. 20 Literary approaches edit There are many approaches to the study of sacred texts. One of these approaches is to interpret the text as a literary object. Metaphor, thematic elements, and the nature and motivations of the characters are of interest in this approach. An example of this approach is God: a biography, by jack miles. Neurological approaches edit The temporal lobe has been of interest which has been termed the "God center" of the brain. 9) neurological findings in regard to religious experience is not a widely accepted discipline within religious studies. Scientific investigators have mode used a spectscanner to analyze the brain activity of both Christian contemplatives and Buddhist meditators, finding them to be quite similar. 21 Origin of religion edit main articles: evolutionary origin of religions, evolutionary psychology of religion, and revelation The "origin of religion" refers to the emergence of religious behavior in prehistory, before written records. Psychology of religion edit main article: Psychology of religion The psychology of religion is concerned with the psychological principles operative in religious communities and practitioners.
Of those countries with average per-capita incomes under 2000, 95 reported that religion played an important role in their daily lives. This is contrasted by the average of 47 from the richest countries, with incomes over 25000 (with the United States breaking the trend by reporting at 65). 18 Social scientists have suggested that religion plays a functional role (helping people cope) in poorer nations. 18 19 The new York times offers a graphic illustrating the correlation (not necessarily causation) between religion and poverty. Geography of religion edit The geography of religion is principally concerned with the spatial elements of religious practice and embodiment. In paper the 1960s and 1970s, geographers of religion such as Wilbur Zelinsky and david Sopher were mostly associated with the "Berkeley school" of cultural geography and focused mostly on the cultural imprints of religion on the landscape. Since the turn in the new cultural geography of religion through the work of James Duncan on the city as Text, geographers of religion have focused on what Lily kong has called the "politics and poetics" of religion, especially in relation to the political geographies. Recent interest in the geography of religion has focused on how religious practitioners enact sacred space through their embodied sacred practices as well as the relationship between religion and geopolitics.
Augustine and Pelagius 's debate concerning original sin the rise of scholasticism in the 11th century, which represented "the search for order in intellectual life" (Russell, 170 more fully integrated the western philosophical tradition (with the introduction of translations of Aristotle ) in religious study. There is some amount of overlap between subcategories of religious studies and the discipline itself. Religious studies seeks to study religious phenomena as a whole, rather than be limited to the approaches of its subcategories. Anthropology of religion edit The anthropology of religion is principally concerned with the common basic human needs that religion fulfills. Cultural anthropology of religion edit The cultural anthropology of religion is principally concerned with the cultural aspects of religion. Of primary concern to the cultural anthropologist of religions are rituals, beliefs, religious art, and practices of piety. Economics of religion edit gallup surveys have found that the world's poorest countries may be the most religious.
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Notwithstanding the resume long interest in the study of religion, the academic discipline religious Studies is relatively new. Chris Partridge notes that the "first professorships were established as one recently as the final quarter of the nineteenth century." 1 In the nineteenth century, the study of religion was done through the eyes of science. Max Müller was the first Professor of Comparative philology at Oxford University, a chair created especially for him. In his Introduction to the Science of Religion (1873) he wrote that it is "the duty of those who have devoted their life to the study of the principal religions of the world in their original documents, and who value and reverence it in whatever. Partridge writes that "by the second half of the twentieth century the study of religion had emerged as a prominent and important field of academic enquiry." he cites the growing distrust of the empiricism of the nineteenth century and the growing interest in non-Christian religions. One of the earliest academic institutions where religious Studies was presented as a distinct subject was University college Ibadan, now the University of Ibadan, where geoffrey parrinder was appointed as lecturer in Religious Studies in 1949. S and 1970s, the term "religious studies" became common and interest in the field increased.
New departments were founded and influential journals of religious studies were initiated (for example, religious Studies and Religion ). In the forward to Approaches to the Study of Religion, ninian Smart wrote that "in the English-speaking world religious studies basically dates from the 1960s, although before then there were such fields as 'the comparative study of religion the 'history of religion the 'sociology. Philosophy of religion uses philosophical tools to evaluate religious claims and doctrines. Western philosophy has traditionally been employed by English speaking scholars. (Some other cultures have their own philosophical traditions including Indian, muslim, and Jewish.) Common issues considered by the (Western) philosophy of religion are the existence of God, belief and rationality, cosmology, and logical inferences of logical consistency from sacred texts. Although philosophy has long been used in evaluation of religious claims (.
Max Weber studied religion from an economic perspective in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-1905 his most famous work. As a major figure in sociology, he has no doubt influenced later sociologists of religion. Émile durkheim also holds continuing influence as one of the fathers of sociology. He explored Protestant and Catholic attitudes and doctrines regarding suicide in his work suicide. In 1912 he published his most memorable work on religion, The Elementary forms of the religious Life.
History edit Interest in the general study of religion dates back to at least Hecataeus of Miletus (. 476 bce) and Herodotus (ca. 484 bce 425 bce). Later, during the middle Ages, islamic scholars such as Ibn hazm (d. 1064 CE) studied Persian, jewish, christian, and Indian religions, among others. The first history of religion was the Treatise on the religious and Philosophical Sects (1127 ce written by the muslim scholar Muhammad al-Shahrastani. Peter the venerable, also working in the twelfth century, studied Islam and made possible a latin translation of the qur'an.
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According to scholar of filsafat religion Russell. McCutcheon, "many of the peoples that we study by means of this category have no equivalent term or concept whatsoever". There is, for instance, no word for "religion" in languages like sanskrit. Intellectual foundation and pelleas background edit before religious studies became a field in its own right, flourishing in the United States in the late 1960s, several key intellectual figures explored religion from a variety of perspectives. One of these figures was the famous pragmatist William James. His 1902 Gifford lectures and book the varieties of Religious Experience examined religion from a psychological-philosophical perspective and is still influential today. His essay the will to believe defends the rationality of faith.
Many of these have been resume monothetic, seeking to determine a key, essential element which all religions share, which can be used to define "religion" as a category, and which must be necessary in order for something to be classified as a "religion". There are two forms of monothetic definition; the first are substantive, seeking to identify a specific core as being at the heart of religion, such as a belief in a god or gods, or an emphasis on power. The second are functional, seeking to define "religion" in terms of what it does for humans, for instance defining it by the argument that it exists to assuage fear of death, unite a community, or reinforce the control of one group over another. Other forms of definition are polythetic, producing a list of characteristics that are common to religion. In this definition there is no one characteristic that need be common to every form of religion. Causing further complications is the fact that there are various secular world views, such as nationalism and Marxism, which bear many of the same characteristics that are commonly associated with religion, but which rarely consider themselves to be religious. Conversely, other scholars of religious studies have argued that the discipline should reject the term "religion" altogether and cease trying to define. In this perspective, "religion" is argued to be a western concept that has been forced upon other cultures in an act of intellectual imperialism.
practice. In directing and conducting inquiry regarding the subject of religion". At the same time, capps stated that its other purpose was to use "prescribed modes and techniques of inquiry to make the subject of religion intelligible." Religious studies scholar Robert. Segal characterised the discipline as "a subject matter" that is "open to many approaches and thus it "does not require either a distinctive method or a distinctive explanation to be worthy of disciplinary status." Different scholars operating in the field have different interests and intentions;. Some scholars of religious studies are interested in primarily studying the religion to which they belong. Scholars of religion have argued that a study of the subject is useful for individuals because it will provide them with knowledge that is pertinent in inter-personal and professional contexts within an increasingly globalised world. It has also been argued that studying religion is useful in appreciating and understanding sectarian tensions and religious violence. Contents Defining "religion" edit totem poles reflect the beliefs of the Indigenous peoples of the pacific Northwest coast ; some religious studies scholars argue that the term "religion" is too western-centric to encompass the beliefs and practices of communities such as these Throughout the history.
Early influential scholars included. Friedrich Max Müller, in England, and, cornelius. Tiele, in the netherlands. Today religious studies is practiced by scholars worldwide. 1, in its early years, it was known. Comparative religion essay or the, science of Religion and, in the usa, there are those who today also know the field as the history of religion (associated with methodological traditions traced to the University of Chicago in general, and in particular. Mircea eliade, from the late 1950s through to the late 1980s). The term " religion " originated from the latin noun "religio that was nominalized from one of three verbs: "relegere" (to turn to constantly/observe conscientiously "religare" (to bind oneself back and "reeligere" (to choose again). 2, because of these three different potential meanings, an etymological analysis alone does not resolve the ambiguity of defining religion, since each verb points to a different understanding of what religion.
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For the academic journal, see, religious Studies (journal). Religious studies, alternately 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. While theology attempts to understand the nature buy of transcendent or supernatural forces (such as deities religious studies tries to study religious behavior and belief from outside any particular religious viewpoint. Religious studies draws upon multiple disciplines and their methodologies including anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history of religion. Religious studies originated in the 19th century, when scholarly and historical analysis of the. Bible had flourished, and, hindu and, buddhist texts were first being translated into european languages.