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Three Paradigms For The Study Of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter tries to clarify differences between countries in terms of secularisation at macro level, with due regard to nonreligious factors influencing their range, profundity and rate, as well as the counter movements and conflicts to which they give rise. It then explains differences within countries in terms of the economic rational choice model at meso level. Next the chapter tries to account for individual differences at micro level in terms of the cognitive paradigm, and traced these to differences in disposition to perception, feeling and processing of emotions and spiritual experience, and participation in and familiarity with the culture of a particular religious tradition. Finally, it points out the interaction between phenomena at macro, meso and micro level. In so doing the chapter provides three broad outlines for future research projects.

Keywords: cognitive paradigm; economic rational choice model; religious tradition; secularisation



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