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3. In the Shadow of Weber: Religion as Culture—Culture as Religion

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Chapter Summary

Heikki Rӓisӓnen's immanent approach, supported by his insistence on demythologizing and his reluctance to accept any idea of a divine kerygma, necessarily puts emphasis on human behavior. The "panorama of natural religion", proclaimed in the Authority, longs for a detailed theory that would not only be able to explain the nature of religion but, more importantly, the genesis and construction of religious beliefs. In the 1980s, Rӓisӓnen found his answer in sociology. He joined forces with Peter Berger and his Weberian tradition. New Testament scholars seldom refer to Berger whose theory Rӓisӓnen uses at length. Berger, originally a theologian himself, is best known in the spheres of the science of religion and sociology of religion. His sociology of knowledge has been used to explain the basic nature of religion, and Rӓisӓnen, too, uses it when explaining his chain of interpretation from a theoretical point of view.

Keywords: culture; Heikki Rӓisӓnen's; New Testament scholars; Peter Berger; religion; sociology; Weberian tradition



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