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The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion by Martin Riesebrodt

By Martin Riesebrodt

Why has faith continued around the process human background? Secularists have estimated the top of religion for a very long time, yet religions proceed to draw fans. in the meantime, students of faith have multiplied their box to such an quantity that we lack a easy framework for making feel of the chaos of spiritual phenomena. To therapy this scenario, Martin Riesebrodt the following undertakes a role that's right now easy and huge: to outline, comprehend, and clarify faith as a common concept. Instead of propounding summary theories, Riesebrodt concentrates at the concrete realities of worship, studying non secular vacations, conversion tales, prophetic visions, and life-cycle occasions. In examining those practices, his scope is competently huge, bearing in mind traditions in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Daoism, and Shinto. eventually, Riesebrodt argues, all religions promise to stay away from misfortune, support their fans deal with crises, and produce either transitority advantages and everlasting salvation. And, because the Promise of Salvation makes transparent via plentiful empirical proof, faith won't disappear so long as those delivers proceed to aid humans focus on existence.

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Additional info for The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion

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38 I consider this objection ungrounded because the criterion of institutional differentiation obviously relativizes all social phenomena historically. For example, if music is defined the way Dubuisson defines religion, we arrive at the absurd conclusion that only the modern West has produced music, because only in the modern West was a relatively autonomous music cul­ ture differentiated. The institutional point of view is clearly inappropriate 18 chapter one for general definitions because it necessarily describes differences.

29 These examples drawn from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam provide sufficient evidence that all three of the Abrahamic religions defined and constituted themselves in contrast to other religions. 30 Asian Religions Mutual perception and competition are also found in the cradle of the Asian religions known to us, whether we are speaking of Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Daoism, or Shinto. Indian Buddhism emerged as a movement that distinguished itself both from Brahmanism and from other ascetic movements.

How can we arrive at a general concept 20 chapter one of religion, and how can it be justified? The easiest solution would seem to consist in a positivistic turn according to which we can define as we wish, with success or failure determining the outcome. But this way out of the problem is unsatisfactory from the point of view of an interpretive sociol­ ogy, because in that sociology definitions are guided not by functions but by structures of meaning. Are there structures of meaning that can be used, over and beyond cultural boundaries, as the foundations for such a defini­ tion of religion?

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