Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists

Paperback | November 6, 2008

byDaniel L. Pals

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What is religion? How did it originate? How does it operate? How can it be explained?Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists presents the key writings of eleven theorists that explain the phenomenon of religion - its origin, historical growth, and world-wide variations - without relying on the authority of the Bible or the articles of dogma. With the hope ofuncovering core principles, these influential theorists sought to understand and to discover what makes people from a variety of cultures believe and behave as they do when it comes to religion. An ideal companion to Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, also by Daniel L. Pals, which shares its organization, Introducing Religion begins with a look at the ideas of Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer - two Victorian pioneers in anthropology and the comparative study of religion. Itcontinues with the "reductionist" approaches of Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, still very much alive in current debates. Countering these approaches are the writings of philosopher-psychologist William James, theologian Rudolf Otto, sociologist Max Weber, and comparativist MirceaEliade. Finally, the book ends with the newer methods and ideas arising from the African field studies of ethnographer E. E. Evans-Pritchard and the interpretive anthropology of Clifford Geertz.

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What is religion? How did it originate? How does it operate? How can it be explained?Introducing Religion: Readings from the Classic Theorists presents the key writings of eleven theorists that explain the phenomenon of religion - its origin, historical growth, and world-wide variations - without relying on the authority of the Bible o...

Daniel L. Pals is a Professor of Religious Studies and History at the University of Miami.

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Nine Theories of Religion
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Eight Theories Of Religion
Eight Theories Of Religion

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:November 6, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195181492

ISBN - 13:9780195181494

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. E. B. Tylor: Animism and the Origin of Religion2. James Frazer: Magic and the Rise of Religion3. Sigmund Freud: Religion as Neurosis4. Emile Durkheim: The Social as Sacred5. Karl Marx: Religion as Agent of Economic Oppression6. William James: The Testimony of Religious Experience7. Rudolf Otto: Religion and the Sense of the "Numinous"8. Max Weber: Religion and Culture Interwoven9. Mircea Eliade: Religion as Response to the Sacred10. E. E. Evans-Pritchard: Primitive Religion and Modern Theories11. Clifford Geertz: Religion as World-view and Ethic