Religious studies, having struggled to establish a phenomenological approach, has been reluctant to go beyond observation and various interpretive strategies, to theoretical explanation. Insofar as it has ventured into explanation it has been heavily dependent for its theory upon those whose primary field of study is sociology, anthropology, or psychology. This book attempts a general theory of religion on its own terms. Part One lays a foundation for such a scientific study of religion. A comprehensive and essential definition from which to generate a conceptual framework is sought through an examination of the nature of religious experience, of religious discourse, and of types of religious tradition. In Part Two, the consequences of the chosen theoretical understanding are unpacked into a conceptual framework, and phenomena regarded as religious are located within it.
Religion as Belonging