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|Citation:||Turner, B.S. (2006-03). Religion. Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3) : 437-444. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276406062530|
|Abstract:||The emergence of a science of religion and religions in which the sacred became a topic of disinterested, objective inquiry was itself an important statement about the general character of social change and can be taken as an index of secularization. It implies a level of critical self-reflexive scrutiny in society. In the West, the study of 'religion' as a topic of independent inquiry was initially undertaken by theologians who wanted to understand how Christianity could be differentiated from other religions. The problem of religious diversity had arisen as an inevitable consequence of colonial contact with other religious traditions and with phenomena that shared a family resemblance with religion, such as fetishism, animism and magic. The science of religion implies a capacity for self-reflection and criticism, and it is often claimed that other religions do not possess such a science of religion. While different cultures give religion a different content, Christianity was defined as a world religion. In Hegel's dialectical scheme, the increasing self-awareness of the Spirit was a consequence of the historical development of Christianity. The contemporary scientific study of religion and religions is confronted by significant epistemological problems that are associated with globalization, and the traditional question about the nature of religion has acquired a new intensity. Copyright © 2006 Theory, Culture and Society.|
|Source Title:||Theory, Culture and Society|
|Appears in Collections:||Staff Publications|
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