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The Western Construction of Religion: Myths, Knowledge, and Ideology [Hardcover]

By Daniel Dubuisson & William Sayers (Translator)
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Item Number 144747  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   244
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 19, 2003
Publisher   The Johns Hopkins University Press
Age  22
ISBN  0801873207  
EAN  9780801873201  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

In this book, anthropologist and historian of religion Daniel Dubuisson contests Mircea Eliade's theory of the existence of a universal "Homo Religiosus" and argues that "religion" as a discrete concept is a Western construct, an invention of nineteenth-century scholars who created it as a field of scientific study. Before that time, there was little attempt to step outside religious experience and objectify it. In fact, the difference between "secular" and "religious" as understood in the West is meaningless in many non-Western cultures.

While Dubuisson still regards the study of beliefs and belief-systems as legitimate, he argues that the word "religion" is too fraught with ideology and too Western in its associated meanings to be useful. Instead, he proposes the term "cosmographic formation," which would speak to a more universal human response to the congeries of experience we call Being, the Sacred, or God. Challenging readers to examine notions of what religion is, this book is sure to generate disagreement and controversy. "The Western Construction of Religion" not only provides a critical assessment of the whole history of "religion" as it is understood in the West but also offers better ways of constructing the study of this central part of human experience.

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More About Daniel Dubuisson & William Sayers

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Daniel Dubuisson is director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS, in Lille and author of many books in French and English, including Twentieth Century Mythologies and Impostures et pseudo-science: L'oeuvre de Mircea Eliade. William Sayers has translated Jacques Stiker's A History of Disability and Adam Rayski's The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance.

Daniel Dubuisson was born in 1950.

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