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Science, Scholarship and the Domestication of Religion: On Dennett's Breaking the Spell

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In Breaking the Spell Dennett sets out to defend society from religion and to promote a scientific study of religion as one natural phenomenon among many. He maintains that undermining the taboo against submitting religion to scientific scrutiny is essential to breaking the spell of religion itself and eliminating its essentially toxic effects on society. Although of value for the support the book provides for establishing a genuinely scientific study of religion, it is disappointing in its crude (and therefore essentially ineffective) polemic against religion and its ill considered and inconsistent policy statements regarding religion's place in society.

Affiliations: 1: Trinity College, University of Toronto, 6 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto, Canada, M5S 1H8


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