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Theory And Method In The Study Of Religions: A Response

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on an interesting intersection between Professor Tomoko Masuzawa's investigation and his own area of study of religions. While Professor Masuzawa explores the historical terrain traversed by the European discourse on religion, the author makes a reference to Jonathan Smith's review of the terms 'religion', 'religions', and 'religious'. She also reflects briefly on a possible proposal derived from a much larger work. Armin Geertz has proposed a method called 'ethnohermeneutics', which can be used as a complement and is related to the hermeneutics of orality. Ethnohermeneutics, he explains, 'attempts to correct the "fictive" product of the philological analysis by combining two perspectives: the reflections of the student of a religion; and the reflections of the indigenous student of that religion. Two hermeneutical endeavours brought together, but located in diverse personal, social, and historical contexts. The end product is greater than the two'.

Keywords: Armin Geertz; ethnohermeneutics; Jonathan Smith; Professor Tomoko Masuzawa; study of religion



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