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Scientific Revolution and Religious Conversion: A Closer Look at Thomas Kuhn's Theory of Paradigm-Shift

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This article seeks to show that Thomas Kuhn's theory of paradigm-shift can be used as a methodological tool in the study of religious conversion. The same way that the scientist is limited to work within a scientific paradigm, the believer can be said to exercise religion within a theological paradigm. And as anomaly can lead to science crises and a change of worldview, anomaly within the horizon of the believer can lead to existential crisis and religious reorientation. A reservation towards the application of Kuhn's theory on religious conversion is, however, proposed by the author who does not see that different worldviews necessarily are incommensurable. Religious conversion is more often than not a reorientation that combines (what Kuhn's theory would consider as) incompatible differences.


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