History and Theory It goes without saying that ‘religion’ is a topic that frequently finds itself in the media spotlight. Peter the Venerable, also working in the twelfth century, studied Isla… The primary impulse that prompts many to study religion, however, happens to be the Western one. Because the major cultural traditions of Europe, the Middle East, India, and China have been independent over long periods, no single history of the study of religion exists. The truth lies in the historical context. King, UM 1995, Historical and Phenomenological Approaches to the Study of Religion. examination of texts and other evidence, narrativism, stylistics; critical theory, The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources, techniques, and theoretical approaches. His research interests include digital Christianity, death and media, and the digital humanities. © 1968 Wesleyan University Recent examples include Jeremy Stolow’s keynote speech on the spirituality of the telegraph, delivered to the Digital Religion conference in Colorado earlier this year (see Stolow 2011), and Stefan Gelfgren’s work (2012) on the history of religious attitudes to media. and can be distributed and utilised freely, provided full citation is given. A history of religion goes beyond articulat Although the phenomenology of religion emerges as both a major field of study and an extremely influential approach to religion, formulating an essay on this subject poses serious difficulties. The expansion of European empires in the early 19th century and the... Anthropological approaches to the study of religion. In tandem with the welcome advance of global south and decolonial epistemologies in anthropology, the field of Religious Studies has seen a shift in recent years away from essentialist and a-historical accounts of this or that World Religion (with a capital R) represented more or less as discrete and unitary systems of ideas and beliefs, to a focus on lived religions. Many other scholars have tried to complicate popular understandings of the past and present of media religion, undertaking detailed comparative studies to show that religious authority, community and identity have not changed in the ways some observers allege. of theory and philosophy of history. Based on a symposium on the theme "Islam and the History of Religions," this important work features thoughtful essays on the study of Islam. However, when one starts to question the notion of grief, bereavement, and death in the contemporary West, these three are more connected than appears. The school of religious history called the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule, a late 19th-century German school of thought, originated the systematic study of religion as a socio-cultural phenomenon. Authorized users may be able to access the full text articles at this site. Scholars of media and religion have tried to challenge this approach over the last decade by framing their observations within a more rigorous historical perspective. How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion? ), Theory and Method in Religious Studies. They undertake research to study the contemporary religious landscape, interpret this snapshot in time by framing it within a particular model of fixed, linear change, and then make predictions about the future. Interest in the general study of religion dates back to at least Hecataeus of Miletus (ca. flexible in approach to religious tradition, inclined to see tradition as metaphorical rather than literal truth. If you do, you can subscribe to receive our weekly podcast through iTunes and other portals. There is clear scope here for inter-disciplinary collaboration. His current research focuses on the future of the Bible as a digital text. According to Frank Whaling, a working summary of what constitutes the ‘study of religion’ is: “The notion that such a study is the objective and comparative study of religion. As de Vries puts it: `The nineteenth-century scholars made abundant use of the new materials. Gelfgren, Stefan. JSTOR provides a digital archive of the print version of History and History of study. This item is part of JSTOR collection Because interactionists study one-on-one, everyday interactions between individuals, a scholar using this approach might ask questions focused on this dynamic. Sociologists, he argues, believe that the world is governed by rules. The objective historian seeks to accumulate all the evidence and data he or she can to discover as close as possible to what really happened in past events. (Peter Connolly,pp1-2Approche to the Study of Religion,Biddles L.T.D.) available at http://www.interscience.wiley.com. One classic strategy since the 1990s has been to contrast an anecdotal snapshot of contemporary life against visions of the near future and the recent past. As the RSP continues to grow, we're going to be returning more frequently to topics and themes which have already been touched upon in previous podcasts and features. The issue of methodological approach in the study of religion has remained an enigma to many scholars of science of religion (religionswissenshaft) for many centuries. This … Anthropological Approaches David N. Gellner The historical development of anthropological approaches Just what anthropology is supposed to be about has changed con- siderably over rime. At the end of this interview, Brown distinguishes the history of religion sharply from sociology. First, in the following podcast – first ‘broadcast’ on 30 April 2012, and later selected as one of our editors’ picks the following summer – Louise Connelly introduces Chris’s interview with Professor Callum Brown. Historical, social scientific, and psychological approaches to the study of religion have much to tell us. Some major developments and issues under debate since 1950. in F Whaling (ed. Hogan, Bernie and Barry Wellman. In fact, … areas: critical philosophy of history, cause, explanation, interpretation, objectivity; Toys, Rabbits, and Princess Diana - three things that may not seem at all connected. According to Brown, there is a “huge gap” in method, approach and interests between the two disciplines. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. natural and social sciences, the humanities, and psychology. In the most common forms of this argument, the past is characterised by stable local communities, face-to-face relationships and a secure, unchanging personal identity. We ‘re-print’ it here in its entirety. He is also the editor of the Journal of Religion, Media & Digital Culture. Instead of collecting snapshots, historians map change year-on-year, using that longitudinal data to establish the effects of key events. He received his PhD ("Creating Church Online") from Durham University in 2010 and recently completed a 15-month fellowship at HUMlab digital humanities research laboratory, Umea University, Sweden. The first explicit use of the phrase "phenomenology of religion" occurs in the Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte (Handbook of the History of Religions), written by Pierre Daniël Chantepie de la Saussaye in 1887, wherein he articulates the task of the science of religion and gives an "Outline of the phenomenology of religion". You can also use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com links to support us when buying your important books, clothes, diving equipment etc. Rather than following a chronological structure or dealing with individual denominations, it examines religious issues through (a) the perspectives of different academic disciplines and (b) coverage of key themes. The first history of religion was the Treatise on the Religious and Philosophical Sects (1127 CE), written by the Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Shahrastani. Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. He also emphasises the value of demographics, arguing that sophisticated analyses of census data reveal that people develop ‘an entirely new sense of self’ when they leave religion. On the whole, in the ancient world and in the Middle Ages the various approaches to religion grew out … People want an identity and may be clutching at something that can be a bit confrontational, for example, Muslims looking for an identity rooted in current conflicts in the Middle East, rather than reflecting on what is quite a long-standing presence in British society and culture.". Scholars and commentators interested in digital culture and its significance for religion have struggled to distinguish what is truly new from what has come before, and continue to search for helpful ways to talk about change." We hope you enjoy these different takes on this week’s central theme. of humanity-in-time; related disciplines, interactions between history and the The study of the history of religions examines events in the past. theoretical dimensions of historians' debates; history of historiography, theory In the broadest terms, three approaches are generally taken to the scholarly study of religion: the historical, the phenomenological, and the behavioral or social - scientific. Vol. Sociologists of digital religion are still not as interested in the connection between “when” and “why” as Callum Brown might like, but clear progress is being made to forge connections with historians. Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion. Second, Dr Tim Hutchings – who has also been an interviewee on the RSP, and participated in our ‘Religion in the News Panel Session’ – wrote the following response essay to Professor Brown’s interview. Wiley has published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. Religionsgeschichtliche Schule, (German: “history of religions school”) in the study of religion and particularly in the study of biblical literature, an approach that emphasized the degree to which the Bible and the ideas contained within it were the products of their cultural milieu. In Pauline Hope Cheong, Peter Fischer-Nielsen, Stefan Gelfgren and Charles Ess (eds.). Almost as many definitions and theories of religion exist as there are authors on the subject. As such, it might be asked in what way a theological The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. Historians, on the other hand, believe that nothing is inevitable and assume that “when” must be the first step in working out “why”. “Let there be digital networks and God will provide growth?” Comparing the aims and hopes of 19th-century and post-millenial Christianity. The Study of Religions at Oxford covers a wide range of approaches to Jewish studies, to Hinduism, and to Islam (from historical and textual, to philosophical and … With a growing open access offering, Wiley is committed to the widest possible dissemination of and access to the content we publish and supports all sustainable models of access. The subject began in rhe ninereenrh century as the search for the origins of humankind. In this episode, Knut interviews Professor Cook about his decision to go into history in the first place, about his writing process, the role of the humanities, his reflections about teaching, and why he finds it so important to get the details right. In his new podcast for the Religious Studies Project, Callum Brown has given us an excellent introduction to the historical approach to the study of religion. phenomenology of religion is one of the major approaches within religious studies. In conversation with Christopher Cotter, Brown outlines rival traditions within the history of religion and demonstrates what each has contributed to our understanding of secularisation. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Request Permissions. Mircea Eliade and other defend ers of phenomenology of religion, in responding to the "reductive" approach advocated by some, have sometimes reacted by over-stressing problematic claims historically used to ground phenomenology of reli JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. The electronic version of History and Theory is Whether we are talking about the recent Boston Marathon bombings, the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the Arab Spring, or the recent critique of the UK government’s welfare policy levelled by four major British churches, the ways in which the media negotiates, ... Douglas R. Brooks, Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester, discusses how he became involved in the academic study of Hinduism, specifically Tantra and goddess-centered traditions. 41 - 176. Sociological interest in the history of religion and media has generated a space for interventions by historians, who can greatly benefit the study of digital culture by offering detailed critiques of our assumed trajectories of change. 476 BCE) and Herodotus (ca. speculative philosophy of history, comparative and global history; historiography, My own field of research is digital religion, an area with a particularly troubled relationship to history. Academic approach to the study of religions, taking into account their historical and cultural contexts, and asking questions about the human authorship of texts. Basic aims and methods Historical, archaeological, and literary studies. Following his Albert Moore Memorial Lecture at Otago University, celebrating 50 years of Religious Studies at Otago, Professor Wesley Wildman talks to Thomas White regarding the integration of the sciences and the humanities in his bio-cultural approach to the study of religion. Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. The Study of Religion : A Historical Approach (1967), such discoveries were seldom considered in their own right; seldom allowed to `speak for themselves' . Intellectual historians and students of political thought study religious traditions as coherent, inter-generational, scholarly bodies of thought — the “Islamic” or the “Christian” or the “Confucian” tradition, for example. This material is disseminated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. publishes articles, review essays, and summaries of books principally in these Professor Michael Cook, winner of the Holberg Prize 2014, has had a huge influence on the historical study of Islam. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750). History and Theory is the premier international journal in the field Later, during the Middle Ages, Islamic scholars such as Ibn Hazm (d. 1064 CE) studied Persian, Jewish, Christian, and Indian religions, among others. This week, we are pleased to bring you a double re-post in response to our double podcast with John Wolffe & Ronald Hutton on Historical Approaches to the Study of Religion. About Approaches to the Study of Religion. Historians commonly approach the study of historical writing in two quite distinct ways: either by study of the techniques which we hold to be immediately relevant today, or by looking at the “history of history”, as for example by focussing on classic texts in Western historical writing. History of the study of religion. The forms of religious community observed online are not unique after all, they argue: they actually continue long-running trajectories of social change from groups to networks (Wellman 2012) or from stable to fluid religious identities (Wagner 2012). Professor Callum Brown tells us why historical approaches have much to tell us about religious change. This historical approach is brought to bear on other parts of the methodology, such as attention to believers’ interpretations, in order to gain a broader understanding. Internationally recognized scholars from many parts of the world provide a critical survey of recent developments and achievements in the global field of religious studies. The immanent internet redux. “When” questions are rarely considered: the purpose of the exercise is to establish a tension between a stable (or predictably-changing) past and a snapshot of the present, to generate insights into continuity and change. de Gruyter, pp. Tim Hutchings: "My own field of research is digital religion, an area with a particularly troubled relationship to history. The forms of religious community observed online are not unique after all, they argue: they actually continue long-running trajectories of social change from groups to networks (Wellman 2012) or from stable to fluid religious … These scholars analyse the past to identify long-term trajectories in social or religious change and use that model to interpret the present. liberals. Young people now use their phones a lot, she argues, and they previously spent time face-to-face, and this shift is very bad for everyone. For Campbell, contemporary religious uses of the internet must be interpreted in the context of the theology and values of particular communities, including how those communities have changed their approach to media over time. Theory. These (and others) are all legitimate uses of the concept of religion. Founded in 1960, History and Theory JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Another significant approach in the study of Comparative Religion is to examine religion from a perspective that seem to describe your stance. Sherry Turkle’s recent declaration that social media is facilitating a “flight from conversation” is a good example of this third type (2012). This … Scholars and commentators interested in digital culture and its significance for religion have struggled to distinguish what is truly new from what has come before, and continue to search for helpful ways to talk about change. Marxism, deconstruction, gender theory, psychoanalysis; time and culture, conceptions Sociological studies of religion. ©2000-2020 ITHAKA. 8, Beiheft 8: On Method in the History of Religions (1968), Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. On its publication in 1985, this text influenced the transition of Islamic studies from Orientalism and area studies to religious studies, and is now republished in the Oneworld Classics in Religious Studies series. and practice of past historians and philosophers of history; historical methodology, This is a fascinating and challenging claim, but I have chosen to focus in this response on another of the main themes of this podcast: the relationship between history and sociology. This is the first book to provide an introduction to contemporary cultural approaches to the study of religion. Our online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) is one of the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities. The Religious Studies Project is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organization (SCIO) devoted to producing engaging and accessible resources for the contemporary study of religion. Tim Hutchings is a sociologist of religion, media and culture, and currently Research Fellow at the Open University. Wiley is a global provider of content and content-enabled workflow solutions in areas of scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly research; professional development; and education. Different observers have interpreted this same basic approach in positive, neutral and negative ways, seeing technology as the route to new spiritual awareness (Cobb 1998), a powerful tool that can be used to promote an unchanging religious message to the new mission field of digital culture (Estes 2009, Sweet 2012), or a dangerous threat to church, character and society. Start studying Five Approaches to studying religion. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. The historical approach applies historical methodologies to the study of these issues. The term perspectival is derived from the word perspective which implies a distinct view held by an individual or group of individuals. Wiley has partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies and publishes over 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols in STMS subjects. Emeritus Professor Philip Almond discusses his work on witchcraft and demonic possession in early modern England, including issues such as the "familiar cultural script" that was usually played out, the strategic interests of those making accusations, and the broader context of post-Reformation turmoil in which confessional claims to truth took on new urgency. This team-taught 1-term option complements other modules by focusing on the meanings and significance of 'religion' in a variety of historical settings. The only thing history can tell us about the origin of religion is that it occurred in prehistoric times. Thus in principle it is the study of all religions from a viewpoint not isolated within any one of them. As the RSP continues to grow, we’re going to be returning more frequently to topics and themes which have already been touched upon in previous podcasts and features. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions HISTORICAL METHOD IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION MORTON SMITH Historical thought, as applied to the study of religion, has often concentrated attention on two questions which history is incapable of answering - those of the origin and nature of religion. That model to interpret the present that ‘ religion ’ is a “ gap., techniques, and literary studies the future of the Holberg Prize 2014, has had a influence! Hecataeus of Miletus ( ca to support us when buying your important books, clothes diving! 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