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

Prolegomena to a Philosophical Phenomenology of 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

A Critique of Sociological Phenomenology

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

The aim of this paper is to deal with a slightly erroneous claim made in previous research that philosophical phenomenology has shown little interest in the topic of “religion”. The majority of this article deals with the branch of the Movement that I have dubbed Sociological Phenomenology which stems out of the work of Alfred Schutz and Max Scheler and has influenced scholars of religion like Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann and James Spickard. I offer a Husserlian critique of this branch of phenomenology for failing to appreciate the key insights of his later phenomenology’s “ontological turn” where he turned to an analysis on the natural attitude and the life-world. I conclude by showing what a phenomenology or religion consistent with these later insights may look like.

Affiliations: 1: Gillis Centre 100 Stratearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BBUnited Kingdom


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barber M. 2013"“Alfred Schutz and the Problem of Empathy”" Husserl’s Ideen Embree L., Nenon T. 313 326 London Springer [Crossref]
2. Becker H., Dahlke H. 1942"“Max Scheler’s Sociology of Knowledge”" Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2 310 322 [Crossref]
3. Beckford J. 2003 Social Theory and Religion Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
4. Bellah R. 2011 Religion in Human Evolution. London Harvard University Press [Crossref]
5. Berger P., Luckmann T. 1966 The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge London Penguin Books
6. Berger P. 1990 The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion New York Anchor Books
7. Bulliet R. 2004 The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilisation Columbia Columbia University Press
8. Carrette J., King D. 2005 Selling Spirituality London Routledge
9. Csordas T. 1990"“Embodiment as a Paradigm for Anthropology”" Ethos 18 5 47 [Crossref]
10. Csordas T. 1994 The Sacred Self: A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing London University of California Press
11. Csordas T. 1995"“Words from the Holy People: A Case Study in Cultural Phenomenology”" Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self 269 290
12. Csordas T. 1997 Language, Charisma, and Creativity Berkeley University of California Press
13. Csordas T. 2002 Body/Meaning/Healing New York Palgrave Macmillan [Crossref]
14. Davies W. 1983"“Japanese Religious Affiliations: Motives and Obligations”" Sociological Analysis 44 131 146 [Crossref]
15. Duranti A. 2010"“Husserl, Intersubjectivity and Anthropology”" Anthropological Theory 10 1 20
16. Embree L. 1997 Encyclopedia of Phenomenology. London Kluwer Academic Publishers
17. Embree L. 2001"“The continuation of Phenomenology: a fifth period?”" The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 1 1 9
18. Embree L. 2015 The Schutzian Theory of the Cultural Sciences Dordrecht Springer [Crossref]
19. Embree L. n.d. n.d.."“Continuing Husserlian Phenomenology”" On the Future of Husserlian Phenomenology Accessed April 25, 2013
20. Fitzgerald T. 1997"“A Critique of Religion as a Cross-Cultural Category”" Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 9Vol 2 91 110 [Crossref]
21. Fitzgerald T. 2000 The Ideology of Religious Studies. Oxford Oxford University Press
22. Fitzgerald T. 2010"“ ‘Experiences deemed religious’: Radical critique or temporary fix? Strategic ambiguity in Ann Taves’ Religious Experience Reconsidered”" Religion, 40Vol 4 296 299 [Crossref]
23. Greil A. 1977"“Previous Dispositions and Conversion to Perspectives of Social and Religious Movements”" Sociological Analysis 38 115 125 [Crossref]
24. Gurwitsch A. 1974 Phenomenology and the Theory of Science Embree L. Evanston Northwestern University Press
25. Hart J. 1997"“Religion”" Encyclopedia of Phenomenology Embree L. London Kluwer Academic Publishers
26. Husserl E. 1965 Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy Lauer Q. London Harper Torchbooks
27. Husserl E. 1970 The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology Carr D. Evanston Northwestern University Press
28. Husserl E. 1981"Husserl: Shorter Works" Lauer Q. McCormick P., Elliston F. Notre Dame University of Notre Dame Press
29. Husserl E. 1988 Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology. Cairns D. London Kluwer Academic Publishers
30. Husserl E. 1989 Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy second book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution Rojcewicz R., Schuwer A. London Kluwer Academic Publishing [Crossref]
31. Husserl E. 1999 The Idea of Phenomenology. Hardy L. Dordrecht Kluwer Academic Publishers [Crossref]
32. James W. 1961 The Varieties of Religious Experience New York Modern Library
33. Janicaud D. 2000"“The Theological Turn of French Phenomenology”" Phenomenology and the “Theological Turn” Courtine J. F. Prusak B. 16 103 New York Fordham University Press
34. Kerry D., Armour K. 2000"“Sport Sciences and the Promise of Phenomenology: philosophy, method, and insight”" Quest 52 1 17
35. Koryé A. 1943"“Galileo and the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century”" The Philosophical Review 52 333 348 [Crossref]
36. Lewis M., Staehler T. 2010 Phenomenology: an Introduction. London Routledge
37. Luckmann T. 1970"“On the Boundaries of the Social World”" Phenomenology and Social Reality Natanson M. 88 121 Phenomenology and Social Reality The Hague Martinus Nijhoff
38. Martin L., Wiebe D. 2012"“Religious Studies as a Scientific Discipline: The Persistence of a Delusion”" Religio 20 9 18
39. Moran D. 2012 Husserl’s Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
40. Moran D., Embree L. 2004 Phenomenology Vol. I: Phenomenology: Central Tendencies and Concepts London Routledge
41. Murphy T. 2010 The Politics of Spirit Albany State University of New York Press
42. Nietz M. J., Spickard J. 1990"“Steps Towards a Sociology of Religious Experience: The Theories of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Alfred Schutz”" Sociological Analysis 51 15 33 [Crossref]
43. Penner H. 1989 Impasse and Resolution: A Critique of the Study of Religion New York Peter Lang
44. Redfield R. 1952"“The Primitive World View”" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 96 30 36
45. Sartre J. P. 2003 Being and Nothingness. Barnes H. preface by R. Eyre, intro. by M. Warnock London Routledge
46. Schechner R. 1993 The Future of Ritual: Writings on Culture and Performance London Routledge [Crossref]
47. Scheler M. 1954 On The Nature of Sympathy. Heath P. intro. by W. Stark London Routledge
48. Scheler M. 1973 Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values Frings M., Funk R. Evanston Northwestern University Press
49. Scheler M. 1978"“On the Idea of Man”" Journal for the British Society of Phenomenology 9Vol 3 184 198 [Crossref]
50. Scheler M. 1980 Problems of a Sociology of Knowledge. Frings M. intro. by K. Stikkers London Routledge
51. Scheler M. 2009 The Human Place in the Cosmos. Frings M. intro by E. Kelly Evanston Northwestern University Press
52. Scheler M. 2010 On the Eternal in Man. Noble B. intro. by G. McAleer London Transaction Publishers
53. Schutz A. 1962 Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality Natanson M. The Hague Martinus Nijhoff
54. Schutz A. 1964 Collected Papers II: Studies in Social Theory Brodersen A. The Hague Martinus Nijhoff
55. Schutz A. 2004"“Positivistc philosophy and the actual approach of interpretative social science: an ineditum of Alfred Schutz from spring 1953”" Phenomenology Vol. III Moran D., Embree L. 119 145 London Routledge
56. Smart N. 2009 Ninian Smart on World Religious Volume 1: Religious Experience and Philosophical Analysis Shepherd J. Farnham Ashgate
57. Spickard J. 1991"“Experiencing Religious Rituals: A Schutzian Analysis of Navajo Ceremonies”" Sociological Analysis 52Vol 2 191 204 [Crossref]
58. Spickard J. 2002"“On the Epistemology of Post-Colonial Ethnography”" Personal Knowledge and Beyond Spikard J., Landres S., McQuire M. 237 252 London New York University Press
59. Spickard J. 2005"“Ritual, Symbol and Experience: Understanding Catholic Worker House Masses”" Sociology of Religion 66Vol 4 337 357 [Crossref]
60. Spickard J. 2010"“Does Taves reconsider experience enough? A critical commentary on religious experience reconsidered”" Religion, 40Vol 4 311 313 [Crossref]
61. Spickard J. 2011"“Phenomenology”" The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion Stausberg M., Engler S. 333 345 London Routledge
62. Spickard J. 2012"“Centred in time: a sociological phenomenology of religious ritual”" Understanding Religious Ritual: Theoretical approaches and innovations Hoffmann J. 154 167 London Routledge
63. Spiegelberg H. 1982 The Phenomenological Movement: Third revised and enlarged edition The Hague Matinus Nijhoff [Crossref]
64. Staehler T. 2007"“Introduction”" International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 325 326 [Crossref]
65. Taves A. 2009 Religious Experience Reconsidered. Oxford Princeton University Press
66. Tuckett J. 2014"“Alfred Schutz’s Postulates of Social Science: Clarifications and Amendments”" Human Studies 37Vol 4 469 488 [Crossref]
67. Tuckett J. 2015a"“The Prejudice of Being Human in the Study of Non-Ordinary Realities”" Diskus 17Vol 2
68. Tuckett J. 2015b"“Levels of Intersubjectivity: Scheler’s ‘Idea of Man’ and Schutz’s Human Prejudice”" Schutzian Research 7 105 128 [Crossref]
69. Tuckett J. 2016a"“Clarifying Phenomenologies in the Study of Religion: separating Kristensen and van der Leeuw from Otto and Eliade”" Religion 46Vol 1 75 101 [Crossref]
70. Tuckett J. 2016b"“Kendo: Between ‘religion’ and ‘nationalism’ ”" Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 15Vol 44 178 204
71. Tuckett J. 2016c"“Clarifying the Phenomenology of Gerardus van der Leeuw”" Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 28Vol 3 227 263 [Crossref]
72. Tuckett J. 2017a"“Toward a Proper Phenomenology of Religious Experience”" The Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 3Vol 1 23 43
73. Tuckett J. 2016d"“Science Fiction and the Ideological Definition of Religion”" Implicit Religion 19Vol 4 525 551
74. Waldenfels B. 2004"“Homeworld and Alienworld”" Phenomenology Vol. IV: Expanding Horizons of Phenomenology Moran D., Embree L. 280 291 London Routledge
75. Waldenfels B. 2011 Phenomenology of the Alien Kozin A., Staehler T. Evanston Northwestern University Press

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