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Theory Without Method: Situating A Discourse Analysis On Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter historically analyses the concept and discourse of 'world religions', as a loose variant. It is an excavation project aiming at an archaeology of present discursive practice (focused on the science of religion, but also with an eye to understanding its ramifications in our everyday discourse and what it implies); it is not conceived as a methodological mission to protect or to improve upon the science of religion. From the very beginning of the discovery of Buddhism, Europeans with varying attitudes toward Christianity were keen on drawing a structural affinity between the two religions. Like Christianity, Buddhism was said to have begun as a reform movement initiated by a supra-human but historically real person, whose mission supposedly was to bring a universal moral message, and who had a spiritual appeal to all humanity.

Keywords: Buddhism; Christianity; Europeans; humanity; science of religion



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