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On The Processes And Problematics Of Representing Divinity: Dio Chrysostom (Ca. 40–120) And The Pragmatist Motif

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Chapter Summary

Although some scholars in the sociology of religion adopt interpretivist or pragmatist viewpoints of the sort associated with symbolic interactionism and social constructionism while others turn to émile Durkheim (1912) as a central source of reference, the notion that religion represents a humanly contrived realm of endeavor has a much more enduring philosophic base. Minimally, although this chapter concentrates on one of Dio Chrysostom's texts, it should not be assumed that "the constructionist standpoint" developed herein is especially unique to him. In order to establish a contemporary pragmatist or constructionist frame for the chapter, the author briefly outlines the premises and methodological emphases of symbolic interaction. Representing a sociological extension of the American pragmatist philosophic tradition, symbolic interactionism developed through a synthesis of this tradition and ethnographic research at the University of Chicago with Herbert Blumer (1969) as the principal architect.

Keywords: Dio Chrysostom; émile Durkheim; Herbert Blumer; Pragmatist



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