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von Stuckrad, Kocku

The Scientification of Religion

An Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800–2000

    109,95 € / $154.00 / £99.99*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    May 2014
    Copyright year:
    2014
    ISBN
    978-1-61451-349-0
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    Overview

    Aims and Scope

    The enigmatic relation between religion and science still presents a challenge to European societies and to ideas about what it means to be ‘modern.’ This book argues that European secularism, rather than pushing back religious truth claims, in fact has been religiously productive itself. The institutional establishment of new disciplines in the nineteenth century, such as religious studies, anthropology, psychology, classical studies, and the study of various religious traditions, led to a professionalization of knowledge about religion that in turn attributed new meanings to religion. This attribution of meaning resulted in the emergence of new religious identities and practices. In a dynamic that is closely linked to this discursive change, the natural sciences adopted religious and metaphysical claims and integrated them in their framework of meaning, resulting in a special form of scientific religiosity that has gained much influence in the twentieth century. Applying methods that come from historical discourse analysis, the book demonstrates that religious semantics have been reconfigured in the secular sciences. Ultimately, the scientification of religion perpetuated religious truth claims under conditions of secularism.

    Supplementary Information

    Details

    xiv, 225 pages
    Language:
    English
    Type of Publication:
    Monograph
    Keyword(s):
    religion and science; secularism; historical discourse analysis; Western esotericism

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    Kocku von Stuckrad, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

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