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Delimiting Religion

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

The problem of the definition of religion sparks perennial discussion; unfortunately much of the debate over the use of the word produces more confusion than understanding—some scholars suggest that religion cannot be defined and others suggest that all definitions are inadequate to religion. Through a consideration of the nature of language and Gary Lease's claim that "there is no religion," this essay attempts to clear away some of the incoherencies and to set out what we can and cannot say about the delimitation of the category "religion."

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Affiliations: 1: St. Thomas Aquinas College


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