The Ideology of Religious Studies by Timothy Fitzgerald

By Timothy Fitzgerald

In recent times there was an intensifying debate in the non secular reports neighborhood in regards to the validity of faith as an analytical class. during this booklet Fitzgerald facets with those that argue that the concept that of faith itself may be deserted. at the foundation of his personal learn in India and Japan, and during an in depth research of using faith in a variety of scholarly texts, the writer continues that the comparative learn of faith can be a kind of liberal ecumenical theology. through pretending to be a technology, faith considerably distorts socio-cultural research. He recommend, even though, that non secular experiences may be re-represented in a fashion which opens up new and effective theoretical connections with anthropology and cultural and literary reports.

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It demarcates an area of moral and social rationality from which all other moral and social systems are to be judged. Its concept of universality undercuts local customs and institutions, of which it is explicitly critical. It is also an aspect of the development of a historical method and consciousness. Though the deists did not invent the historical-critical method for studying the Bible or the origins of Christianity, they widely publicized and developed it (Byrne, 1989:94). However, it seems important to realize that deism was not really only about 'religion'.

In the thinking of many of the founding fathers of comparative religion, this private consciousness is essentially religious and is fundamentally different from other forms of consciousness. It forms the primary datum of religion, compared to which ritual, liturgy, and other institutionalized forms of collective identity are secondary and derivative (see Fitzgerald, 1999). Thus the church is only religious insofar as it derives its raison d'etre from such private individual experiences. Anything else is merely social, secular, non-religious.

G. Frazer, and Durkheim. I would further suggest here—though I cannot argue it in detail—that both the theological and the humanistic tendencies, in individualist and holistic forms, were to varying degrees implicit in Deism and German romantic philosophy, respectively.

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