Visions of Religion: Experience, Meaning, and Power by Stephen S. Bush

Visions of Religion: Experience, Meaning, and Power

byStephen S. Bush

Hardcover | November 12, 2014

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Three understandings of the nature of religion - religion as experience, symbolic meaning, and power - have dominated scholarly discussions, in succession, for the past hundred years. Proponents of each of these three approaches have tended to downplay, ignore, or actively criticize theothers. But why should the three approaches be at odds? Religion as it is practiced involves experiences, meanings, and power, so students of religion should attend to all three. Furthermore, theorists of religion should have an account that carefully conceptualizes all three aspects, without regarding anyof them as more basic than the others.Visions of Religion provides just such an account. Stephen S. Bush examines influential proponents of the three visions, arguing that each approach offers substantial and lasting contributions to the study of religion, although each requires revision.Bush rehabilitates the concepts of experience and meaning, two categories that are much maligned these days. In doing so, he shows the extent to which these categories are implicated in matters of social power. As for power, the book argues that the analysis of power requires attention to meaningand experience.Visions of Religion accomplishes all this by articulating a social practical theory of religion that can account for all three aspects, even as it incorporates them into a single theoretical framework.

About The Author

Stephen S. Bush is the Manning Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. His interests broadly are in theory of religion, philosophy of religion, and religious ethics. He has published essays in Journal of Religion, Journal of Religious Ethics, Soundings, Religious Studies, and Philosophical Review.
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Details & Specs

Title:Visions of Religion: Experience, Meaning, and PowerFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 12, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199387400

ISBN - 13:9780199387403

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart One1. From Experience to Meaning2. From Meaning to Power3. Three Indespensable ConceptsPart Two4. Meaning and Power5. Experience and Meaning6. Experience and Power7. ConclusionBibliography