The Western Epistemic Tradition and the Scientific Study of Religion
This book provides an account of how a science of religion was able to emerge from the devotional, catechetical, theological, and philosophical forms of ‘religious studies’ that have generally characterized this field of scholarship. Although elements of the scientific study of religion can be found in the scholarly engagement with religion in the academy today, it is still primarily associated with religious and nonscientific humanistic quests for meaning, and the foundations for a flourishing existence. The idea of a scientific study of religion first emerged some 2500 years ago with the ancient Greeks but this history will show that the conditions for a strictly scientific study of religion didn’t emerge until the end of the nineteenth century. The purpose of this new science, like that of the natural and social sciences, is to seek objective knowledge about religious thought and behaviour for its own sake. For that reason, it is argued, the scientific study of religion ought to be established in the curriculum of the modern research university.
This book is intended for students who are enrolled in religious studies programs, their teachers, university administrators, and others who are simply curious about the character of the study of religion most appropriate in the context of the modern research university.
Published: May 1, 2023
|Preface and Acknowledgements||Donald Wiebe|
|Setting the Boundaries for the Scientific Study of Religious Phenomena||Donald Wiebe|
|The Deep History of the Scientific Study of Religious Thought and Behaviour||Donald Wiebe|
|From Myth to Proto-Science: A Transformational Turning Point in the History of Human Thought||Donald Wiebe|
|The Rise and Decline of the ‘Sciences’ in the Hellenistic Period||Donald Wiebe|
|Latin Christendom and ‘Scientific’ Thought in the Middle Ages||Donald Wiebe|
|The Renaissance, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment||Donald Wiebe|
|The Age of Discovery and the Protestant Reformation||Donald Wiebe|
|Crossing a Threshold in the Scholarly Study of Religion||Donald Wiebe|
|Modernity, Postmodernity, and the Study of Religion||Donald Wiebe|
|A Scientific Revolution in Slow Motion||Donald Wiebe|