What are the global and cross-cultural phenomena of religion anyway? They are not things-in-the-world, not things "in themselves," and yet we know they are very real because they constitute the means by which we make up our lives. As thought, language, society and culture are not illusions, neither is religion. This book is about the present plight -- and future possibility -- of a general and comparative study of religion as a field of inquiry in the human sciences. Jensen proposes a different look at the phenomenon of religion, and perhaps so much of a re-interpretation that it may appear to be a different phenomenon altogether. In his "new key," Jensen shifts the attention from metaphysical "givens" and psychological experiences to the social, symbolic and linguistic constructions of human habitats. Jensen's fundamental ambition is to illustrate how and on what conditions it is possible to study not just specific religions as ethnographic or historical facts, but also to study religion as a general human and social activity. This book is not only meant for those who are theoretically inclined, but also, and perhaps even more so, for those who are not.The Study of Religion in a New Key can be characterised as a handbook for non-philosophers in how to perform a theoretically grounded general and comparative study of religion. Others who will find this book indispensable are historians of religions, anthropologists, philosophers, sociologists and theologians.
The Study of Religion in a New Key
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