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Methodology in Religious Studies: The Interface With Women's by Arvind Sharma

By Arvind Sharma

Explores the impression of women's reports on technique in non secular stories.

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Extra info for Methodology in Religious Studies: The Interface With Women's Studies (Mcgill Studies in the History of Religions)

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Zwi Werblowsky) to claim that he had ignored the boundary between phenomenology and theology (R. J. 4 [1959]: 275–276). 19. Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion, trans. Willard R. Trask (1957: San Diego: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovitch, 1959), 30. 20. Buddhist scholars and others have viewed Eliade’s use of this term with its ontological implications as a superimposition of a Christian concept on other religions. Many schools of Buddhism, for instance, repudiate the concept of being and non-being.

In other words, all are equal. Closely related to the inherent instability of language and its relativity, they claim, is the fact that culture is constructed—and can therefore be deconstructed—by human beings. For feminist deconstructionists, this ostensible, epistemological relativism supports the belief that all interpretations must be entertained. Its corollary is that “diversity” is the only thing that matters. Its political message is that everyone, at least theoretically, must be included.

Moreover, because “essences” have been determined by male phenomenologists on the basis of male experiences alone (whether intentionally or not), women have had good reason for criticizing this kind of scholarship. But does this mean that the phenomenological method is totally inadequate and should be abandoned? What about the concept of “essence” itself? Has it no merits, as some feminists claim? Finally, what about the phenomenologists’ insistence that their task be limited to description and interpretation?

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