Book: Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion
Chapter: 6. A Method Without Explanatory Theory: Ugo Bianchi’s Historical-Comparative Methodology after Thirty Years
The fundamental aim of Ugo Bianchi’s scholarship was to reconcile in a single perspective the two main streams in the History of Religions. These, respectively, are idiographic research, attentive to details in their historical specificity; and the construction of a vast comparative framework aimed at showing analogies and differences between various phenomena and their formative and development processes, beyond interpretative formulas imposed ‘a-priori’. Faced with the positions of the Cognitive Science of Religion that instead consider it necessary to formulate general theories aimed at explaining ‘religion’, our aim is to assess the ongoing validity of this method for a correct analysis of the various phenomena that can be attributed to this multiform ‘category’.