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Theorizing Religions Past: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives
     

Theorizing Religions Past: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives

by Harvey Whitehouse (Editor), Luther H. Martin (Editor), Harvey Whitehouse, Luther Martin (Contribution by), E Thomas Lawson (Contribution by), Luther Martin (Contribution by)
 

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Historians bound by their singular stories and archaeologists bound by their material evidence don't typically seek out broad comparative theories of religion. But recently Harvey Whitehouse's 'modes of religiosity' theory has been attracting many scholars of past religions. Based upon universal features of human cognition, Whitehouse's theory can provide useful

Overview

Historians bound by their singular stories and archaeologists bound by their material evidence don't typically seek out broad comparative theories of religion. But recently Harvey Whitehouse's 'modes of religiosity' theory has been attracting many scholars of past religions. Based upon universal features of human cognition, Whitehouse's theory can provide useful comparisons across cultures and historical periods even when limited cultural data is present. In this groundbreaking volume scholars of cultures from prehistorical hunter-gatherers to 19th century Scandinavian Lutherans evaluate Whitehouse's hypothesis that all religions tend toward either an imagistic or a doctrinal mode depending on how they are remembered and transmitted. Theorizing Religions Past provides valuable insights for all historians of religion and especially for those interested in a new cognitive method for studying the past.

Editorial Reviews

Armin W. Geertz
World famous authors examine the usefulness of Whitehouse's modes of religiosity theory against the backdrop of prehistorical, Graeco-Roman, and Christian religions. The result is an exhilarating panorama in the dynamics of history, cognition, and ritual.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780759106208
Publisher:
AltaMira Press
Publication date:
10/15/2004
Series:
Cognitive Science of Religion Series
Pages:
262
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

Harvey Whitehouse is professor of anthropology and director of postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Humanities at Queen's University Belfast. He is co-director with E. Thomas Lawson of the newly established Centre for Cognition and Culture at Queen's University Belfast. He is currently the recipient of two major British Academy grants. His previous books include Inside the Cult: religious innovation and transmission in Papua New Guinea (1995), Arguments and Icons: divergent modes of religiosity, (2000), The Debated Mind: evolutionary psychology versus ethnography (2001), and Modes of Religiosity: a cognitive theory of religious transmission (AltaMira, 2004). Luther H. Martin, professor of religion at the University of Vermont, is the author of Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction (1987), an editor of Theoretical Frameworks for the Study of Graeco-Roman Religions (2002), and author of numerous articles in this area of the history of religions. In addition, he is the author of numerous articles on theory and method in the study of religion, an editor of several volumes of essays on this topic, as well as an editor of a volume on The Academic Study of Religion During the Cold War (2001). He is currently engaged in research on Graeco-Roman religions from the perspective of cognitive science.

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