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Transcendental Empiricism and the Transcendental Blues: A Response to More than Belief

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Abstract This article examines how scholars who study the least likely subjects to be the targets of Manuel Vasquez’s call in More than Belief may nonetheless apply the arguments in the book. Harvey focuses especially on applying the concepts in More than Belief to studies of Protestants in the American South who historically have insisted that religion is defined by belief. These are people who conceived of religion in precisely the way Vásquez tells us not to; “religion” for them was a matter of the private conscience, was disembodied, full of doctrine and ratiocination, and as deeply individualistic (at least in theory) as one could possibly conceive. If Vásquez’s rich account of religious theory can be used to understand my subjects in some way, then they can apply to anyone. Even in a Protestant, text-centric, doctrinal region as the American South historically has been may be seen, religious expression has been at once locative, translocative (because of the huge numbers of people imported from other lands, voluntarily or involuntarily), and supralocative (because of the diasporic spread of varied religious traditions).

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, University of Colorado 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs CO 80918 USA


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