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Method And Theory In The Study Of Religion: Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The academic study of religion attempts to describe, understand, interpret and explain the religious beliefs and behaviour of peoples and nations by using a wide variety of methods, disciplines and theories. The methods often used are analytical comparison, historical reconstruction and contextualisation, linguistics, sociology, psychology, iconography, literary and exegetical analysis and so on. In this chapter, three scholars from different parts of the world and grounded in different cultures and languages offer their reflections on method and theory in the scholarly study of religion. The papers consist of a keynote presentation by Tomoko Masuzawa, situated at the University of Michigan but born in Japan, and responses to her paper by Chin Hong Chung at Hallym University in Korea and by Sylvia Marcos at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Mexico. In her paper, Professor Masuzawa explores method and theory from a historical perspective.

Keywords: analytical comparison; contextualisation; historical reconstruction; ProfessorSylvia Marcos; Professor Chin Hong Chung; Professor Tomoko Masuzawa; science of religion



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