Religion: The Modern Theories / Edition 1

Religion: The Modern Theories / Edition 1

by Seth D. Kunin
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0801877288

ISBN-13: 9780801877285

Pub. Date: 08/01/2003

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Over the course of the twentieth century, thinkers from Marx and Weber to Freud, Jung, and Campbell have transformed the way we understand the religious experience. Within the field of religious studies, various intellectual approaches from feminism to phenomenology have further shaped the ways in which scholars examine rituals, symbols, and belief systems. In

Overview

Over the course of the twentieth century, thinkers from Marx and Weber to Freud, Jung, and Campbell have transformed the way we understand the religious experience. Within the field of religious studies, various intellectual approaches from feminism to phenomenology have further shaped the ways in which scholars examine rituals, symbols, and belief systems. In Religion: The Modern Theories, Seth D. Kunin provides an accessible yet comprehensive introduction to the social-scientific theories of religion that developed during the twentieth century, explaining the most significant theories of religion and their precursors.

Kunin begins with a detailed discussion of the century's major theorists of religion, their ideas, and their influence, among them Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Jung, and Otto. He next explores how various disciplines sociology, psychology, phenomenology, gender studies, and anthropology have affected the study of religion. Kunin then analyzes the constituent elements of religion itself: ritual, symbolism, and myth. Throughout, the author emphasizes the need to question and reassess accepted theories and definitions of religion, and he concludes with suggestions for framing new definitions of religion that provide more culturally sensitive and open-ended ways of understanding.

About the author:
Seth D. Kunin is the head of the School of Divinity, Religious Studies, and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is coeditor of A Companion to Religious Studies and Theology; editor of Judaism: Themes in Religious Studies; and author of God's Place in the World and The Logic of Incest: A Structural Analysis of Hebrew Mythology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801877285
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Introductionvii
Part ISetting the Agenda
Introduction3
1.Karl Marx and Cultural Materialism6
2.Emile Durkheim and Functionalism16
3.Max Weber35
4.Sigmund Freud and the Psychological Tradition44
5.Rudolf Otto: The Idea of the Holy62
Part IIContinuing the Discussion
Introduction71
6.Sociology, Methodological Atheism and Secularisation73
7.Psychological Approaches100
8.Phenomenology and the History of Religion116
9.Feminism, Gender and Religion137
10.Anthropological Approaches to Religion149
11.Some Final Words171
Part IIITaking the Discussion in Different Directions
Introduction183
12.Ritual186
13.Symbolism194
14.Myth213
15.Last Words220
Bibliography223
Index229

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