Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Discourse on Primal Religion

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Disentangling Regimes of Truth

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This article presents a formalized way to distinguish different regimes of truth in the historiography of religion. By focusing on the nineteenth-century European discourse on the origins of humanity and its (primal) religion in Africa, I will show how narratives of the origin always oscillate between a scientific and a religious regime of truth. The article further outlines a possible method to formally differentiate between insider and outsider positions by redefining them as the assignment to a certain way of organizing a discourse or a semantic field according to a regime of truth. A discourse analysis and sociology of knowledge approach reveals possibilities to distinguish different constructions of insider perspectives by heuristically identifying codes, rarefactions, rules of formations, and regimes of truth.

Affiliations: 1: University of Basel, Study of Religion Heuberg 12, 4051 BaselSwitzerland


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adler Marcus N. The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela: Critical Text, Translation and Commentary 1907 London Henry Frowde
2. Atwood David Heuser A., Hoffmann C., Walther T."Die Religion der Anderen. Zur Diskursgeschichte der frühen Religionsforschung" Erfassen—Deuten—Urteilen. Empirische Zugänge zur Religionsforschung 2013 Zürich Theologischer Verlag Zürich 367 382
3. Atwood David, Gripentrog Stephanie, Johannsen Dirk, Mohn Jürgen Disciplining Scholars of Religion: Politics of Scientificity at the First Congresses for the Academic Study of Religion forthcoming
4. Bayart Jean-François The Illusion of Cultural Identity 2005 London Hurst & Co.
5. Bellah Robert N. Religion in Human Evolution 2011 Cambridge Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
6. Blumenberg Hans Work on Myth: Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought 1990 Cambridge, MA MIT Press
7. Carnap Rudolf The Logical Structure of the World and Pseudoproblems in Philosophy [1928] 2003 Chicago and La Salle, IL OpenCourt
8. Chidester David Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa 1996 Charlottesville University Press of Virginia
9. Chitando Ezra, Adogame Afe, Bateye Bolaji Ludwig F., Adogame A."Introduction" European Traditions in the Study of African Religions 2004 Wiesbaden Harassowitz 1 13
10. Chitando Ezra, Adogame Afe, Bateye Bolaji"“Insiders” and “Outsiders” in the study of African Traditional Religion: One more time!" Missionalia 2001Vol 29 1 43 54
11. Daston Loraine, Galison Peter Objectivity 2007 New York Zone Books
12. Derrida Jacques Of Grammatology 1976 Maryland Johns Hopkins University Press
13. Dieng Amady Aly"Hommage à Cheikh Anta Diop, 1923-1986: Un bilan critique de l’œuvre de Cheikh Anta Diop" Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines 1989Vol 23 1 43 54
14. Diop Cheikh Anta"Vers une idéologie politique africaine" La Voix de l’Afrique Noire 1952 February 5 21 1952
15. Diop Cheikh Anta Nations nègres et culture: de l’antiquité nègre égyptienne aux problèmes actuels de l’Afrique noire d’auhourd’hui [1954] 1979 Paris Présence Africaine
16. Diouf Mamadou, Mbodj Mohamad Mudimbe Valentin Y."The Shadow of Cheikh Anta Diop" The Surreptitious Speech. Présence Africaine and the Politics of Otherness 1947-1987 1992 Chicago The University of Chicago Press 118 135
17. Eisenschmid David"Brief an die Kommission (August 1, 1864)" Der evangelische Heidenboote 1864Vol 5 141
18. Evans Williams McKee"From the land of Canaan to the land of Guinee: The strange odyssey of the “Sons of Ham.”" American Historical Review 1980Vol 85 1 15 29
19. Foerster Heinz von Observing Systems 1984 Seaside, CA Intersystem
20. Foucault Michel Les mots et les choses. Une archéologie des sciences humaines 1966 Paris Gallimard
21. Foucault Michel Young Robert"The order of discourse" Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader [1971] 1981 Boston and London Routledge & Kegan Paul 48 78
22. Fuchs Stephan Against Essentialism: A Theory of Culture and Society 2001 Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press
23. Geertz Clifford Geertz Clifford"From the Native’s point of view: On the nature of anthropological understanding" Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology 1983 New York Basic Books 55 70
24. Görög-Karady Verena Noir et Blancs: leur images dans la littérature orale africaine 1976 Paris SELAF
25. Idowu Bolaji African Traditional Religion: A Definition 1973 London SGM
26. Jensen Jeppe Sinding"Revisiting the insider–outsider debate: Dismantling a pseudo-problem in the study of religion" Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 2011Vol 23 1 29 47
27. Lang Andrew The Making of Religion 1898 London Longmans, Green and Co.
28. Lévy-Bruhl Lucien La Mentalité Primitive 1922 Paris Alcan
29. Lincoln Bruce Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology and Scholarship 1999 Chicago University of Chicago
30. Lubbock John The Origin of Civilisation and the Primitive Condition of Man: Mental and Social Conditions of Savages 1898 New York D. Appleton and Co.
31. Luhmann Niklas A Systems Theory of Religion 2013 Stanford Stanford University Press
32. Luhmann Niklas"Observing re-entries" Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 1993Vol 16 2 485 498
33. Luhmann Niklas"System as difference" Organization 2006Vol 13 1 37 57
34. MacIntyre Alasdair Hick John"Is understanding religion compatible with believing?" Faith and the Philosophers 1964 London Macmillan 119 124
35. Masuzawa Tomoko The Invention of World Religions: Or, How European Universalism was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism 2005 Chicago University of Chicago Press
36. Mbembe Achille On the Postcolony 2001 Berkeley University of California Press
37. Mbiti John S. Introduction to African Religion 1975 London Heinemann
38. McCutcheon Russell The Insider/Outsider Problem in The Study of Religion: A Reader 1999 London Cassel
39. Mudimbe Valentin Y. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy and the Order of Knowledge 1994 Bloomington, IN Indiana University Press
40. Mudimbe Valentin Y. The Idea of Africa 1988 Bloomington, IN Indiana University Press
41. Murphy Tim Jensen T., Rothstein M."Speaking different languages: Religion and the study of religion" Secular Theories on Religion: Current Perspectives 2000 Copenhagen Museum Tusculanum 183 192
42. Olender Michel Les Langues du Paradis 1989 Paris Gallimard/Le Seuil
43. p’Bitek Okot African Religions in Western Scholarship 1970 Kampala / Dar es Salaam / Nairobi East African Literature Bureau
44. Pike Kenneth Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior 1954 The Hague Mouton
45. Radin Paul Monotheism amongst Primitive Peoples 1924 London Allen and Unwin
46. Réville Albert Histoire des religions. Les religions des peuples non-civilisés 1883 Paris Fischbacher
47. Saakana Amon Saba Saakana Amon Saba"Reclaiming African religious precedence" African Origins of the Major World Religions 1988 London Karnak House vi xxi
48. Sanders Edith R."The Hamitic hypothesis: Its origin and function in time perspectives" Journal of African History 1969Vol 10 4 521 532
49. Schneider Wilhelm Die Religion der afrikanischen Naturvölker 1891 Münster Aschendorff
50. Smith William Cantwell The Meaning and End of Religion 1962 New York Harper & Row
51. Spencer-Brown George Laws of Form 1969 London Allen and Unwin
52. Spöttel Michael Hamiten. Völkerkunde und Antisemitismus 1996 Frankfurt a.M. Peter Lang
53. Trottet Jean-Pierre Le génies des civilisations 1862 Paris Cherbuliez
54. Tylor Edward Burnett Primitive Culture 1871 London John Murray
55. Wunderle Georg Die Wurzeln der primitiven Religion 1920 Würzburg Kabitzsch & Mönnich

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Method & Theory in the Study of Religion — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation