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Pulling No Punches: Taking Aim at the Eliadean Paradigm

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Chapter Summary

MTSR arises out of the observation that there is no journal exclusively devoted to the discussion and debate of issues concerning method and theory in the study of religion. Segal had previously argued that the basic problem with Eliade's work was that it confused understanding or interpreting the "believer's point of view". In this essay he reconsiders his position in light of Quentin Skinner's approach to the history of politics. The essay does not try to offer a critical appraisal of Segal's particular arguments, but rather to place them in a (slightly) broader context of the time. And still aims-to shine a critical light on the many unreflective, normative models in the study of religion. Segal's own thoughts on questions concerning explanation and interpretation are not limited to the essay, as he strives for a "plurality of definitions" that incorporates both of these concerns.

Keywords: Eliade; Quentin Skinner; Segal



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