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The Study of Religion as Theorienschmiede for Cultural Studies: A Test of Cognitive Science and Religious-Economic Modes of Access

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This article proposes understanding an important task of the Study of Religion as a monitoring system in the neuroscience sense, i.e. a higher-order-level of evaluation and reflexivity. The Study of Religion in the context of several specialized cultural studies approaches reflects on these approaches and on how they frame a discourse. These scientific and popular discourses as well form our contemporary world view. By its self-critical dissolution from theology and its intercultural focus the Study of Religion is specialized in differentiality in cultural systems as holistic entities and on how they generate normative attitudes. The fruits of this suggested self-understanding as monitoring are demonstrated in discussing three perspectives from the anthropology of religion, cognitive or aesthetic ritual theory (McCauley & Lawson), and the economics of religion (Alles)—all dealing with the same piece of fieldwork from Harvey Whitehouse.


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