Religion: The Classical Theories

Religion: The Classical Theories

by James Thrower
Pub. Date:
Georgetown University Press
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Religion: The Classical Theories

What is religion? This is the first text to review in a single volume the theories of religion which have been put forward by both believers and non-believers.

'Why theories of religion?' After raising and answering this question the author begins his examination of theories of religion by first looking at the explanations given by religious believers (Revelation and Religious Experience). He then considers the views of thinkers who have sought to transform religion into philosophy (Plato, Kant and Hegel), before reviewing the theories of those who have seen religion as arising out of errors in primitive thinking (Tylor, Frazer and Lévy-Bruhl) and those 'masters of suspicion', as Paul Ricoeur has called them (Feuerbach, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud) who offered what they believed to be exhaustive psychological and sociological theories of the origin and nature of religion. In the course of his discussion the author also engages with many contemporary thinkers whose discussions of religion have been based on these classical accounts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780878407514
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 05/28/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 0.50(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Part IReligious Theories of Religion
2.Religion as Revelation9
3.Religion as Experience49
4.Religion as Philosophy74
Part IINaturalistic Theories of Religion
5.Religion as Human Construct: Some Greek and Roman Theories of Religion93
6.Religion as Primitive Error99
7.Religion as Psychological Construct126
8.Religion as Social Construct161
9.Conclusion: What is Religion?202

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