The Ideology of Religious Studies
In recent years there has been an intensifying debate within the religious studies community about the validity of religion as an analytical category. In this book Fitzgerald sides with those who argue that the concept of religion itself should be abandoned. On the basis of his own research in India and Japan, and through a detailed analysis of the use of religion in a wide range of scholarly texts, the author maintains that the comparative study of religion is really a form of liberal ecumenical theology. By pretending to be a science, religion significantly distorts socio-cultural analysis. He suggest, however, that religious studies can be re-represented in a way which opens up new and productive theoretical connections with anthropology and cultural and literary studies.
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actual Ambedkar American analysis analytical anthropology argue argument aspect attempt becomes belief Buddhism called caste chapter Christian claim clear collective communities comparative concept concept of religion concerned construction context critical cultural cultural studies defined definition departments discussion distinction dominant example exist experience expression fact faith foreigners fundamental give given hand hierarchy Hinduism human idea identity ideology implies important India individual institutions interesting interpretation issues Japan Japanese kind Klaus liberation Marxism meaning natural object particular political principles problem reality refer relations relationship reli religion religious religious studies ritual sacred scholars secular seems sense separate Sharpe significant Smart Smith social society soteriology specific structure studies suggest symbolic texts theological theoretical theory things tion traditional transcendent true understanding universal untouchability values various western whole word religion writers