Description - Rationality and the Study of Religion by Jeppe Sinding Jensen
Religion, possibly the most fanciful and certainly the most subjective domain of human behaviour, has particular challenges associated with its study. Attracting crowd healers, conjurers, the pious and the prophetic alongside comparativists and sceptics, it excites opinions and generalizations, whilst seldom explicitly staking out the territory for the discussions and means of knowledge in which it partakes. Increasingly, serious scholars argue that religious study needs to define and critique its own field, to distinguish itself from theology and other non-objective disciplines. Yet how do we apply rational techniques to beliefs and states of mind long regarded as in conflict with human reason? Can these be made empirically testable, or comparable and replicable within academic communities? Can science explicate religion without reducing it to disposable superstition, or redefine its truth in some empirical yet non-degradatory way? Featuring ten contributions from international experts on religious study including Donald Wiebe, Roger Trigg and Michael Pye, "Rationality and the Study of Religion" seeks to reopen debate in this neglected yet philosophically significant field.
Available for the first time in paperback, it questions the role played by rationality in studies of religious anthropology, human natural history and anti-scientific theologies. Its implications extend not only to the exposure of irrational concepts within supposedly empirical disciplines, but also to our deepest attitudes to personal experience and the ways in which it is represented.
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(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Author Biography - Jeppe Sinding Jensen
Jeppe Sinding Jensen is Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Aarhus, and is co-editor of Religion, Tradition and Renewal (Aarhus, 1991). Luther H. Martin holds a professorship in religion at the University of Vermont, and is the author of Hellenistic Religions (1987) and editor of Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault (1988). He has published widely on theory and method in the study of religion including the cognitive science of religion, and recently co-edited The Academic Study Of Religion During The Cold War: East And West (2001).