Advertisement

Human Studies

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 647–672 | Cite as

The a Priori Critique of the Possibility of a Phenomenology of Religion: A Response to the Special Issue on “Schutz and Religion”

  • Jonathan TuckettEmail author
Theoretical/Philosophical Paper

Abstract

This paper offers a critique of the special issue of Human Studies (vol. 40) on “Alfred Schutz and Religion”. Following a line similar to that of Dominique Janicaud I call into question the very phenomenological status of the “phenomenology of religion” developed across the various contributions. Appealing to the Husserlian principle of freedom from presuppositions my critique focuses on the way these phenomenologies of religion talk about “religion”. At their core, the failure contained within these contributions is the failure to properly consider a question which begins any undergraduate Religious Studies program—what is “religion”? I charge that because these contributions take it as “self-evident” what religion “is” they allow a metaphysical assertion into their phenomenology which breaches the “neutrality” demanded of the principle of freedom from presuppositions. Drawing on the work of the Critical Religion project in Religious Studies I further highlight how this metaphysical assertion predicates an unavoidable ideological assertion, one which serves colonial mechanics of exclusion.

Keywords

Phenomenology of religion Religion Violence Alfred Schutz 

Notes

References

  1. Alles, G. (2001). Toward a genealogy of the holy: Rudolf Otto and the apologetics of religion. Journal of the American Academy of Religion,69(2), 323–341.Google Scholar
  2. Alles, G. (2014). Rudolf Otto, cultural colonialism and the “discovery” of the holy. In T. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Religion and the secular: Historical and colonial formations (pp. 193–210). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Alvis, J. (2017). Anthony J. Steinbock: Phenomenology and mysticism: The verticality of religious experience. Human Studies,40, 589–598.Google Scholar
  4. Ayaß, R. (2017). Life-world, sub-worlds, after-worlds: The various “realnesses” of multiple realities. Human Studies,40, 519–542.Google Scholar
  5. Barber, M. (2017). Resistance to pragmatic tendencies in the world of working in the religious finite province of meaning. Human Studies,40, 565–588.Google Scholar
  6. Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  7. Boyer, P. (1994). The naturalness of religious ideas: A cognitive theory of religion. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Boyer, P. (1996). What makes anthropomorphism natural: Intuitive ontology and cultural representations. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,2, 83–97.Google Scholar
  9. Boyer, P. (1998). Cognitive tracks of cultural inheritance: How evolved intuitive ontology governs cultural transmission. American Anthropologist,100, 876–889.Google Scholar
  10. Boyer, P. (2000a). Evolution of the modem mind and the origins of culture: Religious concepts as a limiting case. In P. Carruthers & A. Chamberlain (Eds.), Evolution and the human mind (pp. 93–112). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Boyer, P. (2000b). Functional origins of religious concepts: ontological and strategic selection in evolved minds. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,6, 195–214.Google Scholar
  12. Boyer, P. (2001). Religion explained: The evolutionary origins of religious thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Cantwell Smith, W. (1967). Questions of religious truth. London: Golancz.Google Scholar
  14. Cantwell Smith, W. (1978). The meaning and end of religion. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  15. Capps, W. (1995). Religious studies: The making of a discipline. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Google Scholar
  16. Cavanaugh, W. (2009). The myth of religious violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Chalamet, C. (2008). Reassessing Albrecht Ritschl’s theology: A survey of recent literature. Religion Compass,2(4), 620–641.Google Scholar
  18. Chidester, D. (2014). Empire of religion. London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Chrétien, J.-L. (2004). The ark of speech (A. Brown, Trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. de Caro, M., & MacArthur, D. (Eds.). (2004). Naturalism in question. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Durkheim, E. (2001). The elementary forms of religious life (C. Cosman, Trans.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Eliade, M. (1959). The sacred and the profane (W. Trask, Trans.). London: Harcourt Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Eliade, M. (1969). The quest: History and meaning in religion. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  24. Fitzgerald, T. (1997). A critique of ‘religion’ as cross-cultural category. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion,9, 91–110.Google Scholar
  25. Eliade, M. (1998). The sacred and the profane (W. R. Task, Tans.). New York: Harcourt, Brace & Inc.Google Scholar
  26. Fitzgerald, T. (2000). The ideology of religious studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Fitzgerald, T. (2007). Discourse on civility and barbarity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Fitzgerald, T. (2010). ‘Experiences deemed religious’: Radical critique or temporary fix? Strategic ambiguity in Ann Taves’ religious experience reconsidered. Religion,40(4), 296–299.Google Scholar
  29. Fitzgerald, T. (Ed.). (2014). Religion and the secular: Historical and colonial formations. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Fitzgerald, T., Stack, T., & Goldenberg, N. (Eds.). (2015). Religion as a category of governance and sovereignty. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  31. Girard, R. (2013). Violence and the sacred (P. Gregory, Trans.). London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  32. Guttmann, H. M. (2009). Gewaltunterbrechung, Warum Religion Gewalt nicht hervorbringt, sondern bindet. Gutersloh: Gutersloher Verlagshaus.Google Scholar
  33. Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  34. Heiler, F. (1932). Prayer: A study in the history and psychology of religion (S. McComb, Trans.). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Hoshikawa, K., & Staudigl, M. (2017). A Schutzian analysis of prayer with perspectives from linguistic philosophy. Human Studies,40, 543–563.Google Scholar
  36. Husserl, E. (1965). Phenomenology and the crisis of philosophy (Q. Lauer, Trans.). London: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  37. Husserl, E. (1970a). Logical investigations (J. Findlay, Trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Husserl, E. (1970b). The crisis of European science and transcendental phenomenology: An introduction to phenomenological philosophy (D. Carr, Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Husserl, E. (1982). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy, first book: General introduction to pure phenomenology (F. Kerstan, Trans.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  40. Husserl, E. (1989). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy second book: Studies in the phenomenology of constitution (R. Rojcewicz, A. Schuwer, & J. Scanlon, Trans.). London: Kluwer Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  41. Janicaud, D. (2000). The theological turn of French phenomenology. In D. Janicaud, J.-F. Courtine, J.-L. Chrétien, M. Henry, J. L. Marion, P. Ricoeur, & B. Prusak (Eds.), Phenomenology and the “theological turn” (2nd ed., pp. 16–103). New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Jurgensmeyer, M. (2000). Terror in the mind of god. The global rise of religious violence. London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  43. Jurgensmeyer, M. (2008). Global rebellion: Religious challenges to the secular state, from Christian militias to al Qaeda. London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  44. Jurgensmeyer, M. (2017). Terror in the mind of god. The global rise of religious violence (4th ed.). London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  45. Luckmann, T. (1967). The invisible religion. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  46. Luckmann, T. (1985). Uber die Funktion der religion. In P. Koslowksi (Ed.), Die Religiose Dimension der Gesellschaft. Religion und ihre Theorien (pp. 26–41). Tubingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
  47. Masuzawa, T. (2005). The invention of world religions. London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  48. McCutcheon, R. (1997). Manufacturing religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. McCutcheon, R. (2001). Critics not caretakers: Redescribing the public study of religion. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  50. McCutcheon, R. (2013). A modest proposal on method. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion,25, 339–349.Google Scholar
  51. Molendijk, A. (2000). At the cross-roads: Early dutch science of religion in international perspective. In S. Hjelde (Ed.), Man, meaning, and mystery: 100 years of history of religions in Norway (pp. 19–51). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  52. Murphy, T. (2010). The politics of spirit. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  53. Nietz, M., & Spickard, J. (1990). Steps towards a sociology of religious experience: The theories of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Alfred Schutz. Sociological Analysis,51, 15–33.Google Scholar
  54. Otto, R. (1923). The idea of the holy. (J. Harvey, Trans.). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Pals, D. (1996). Seven theories of religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Pals, D. (2015). Nine theories of religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Preus, S. (1987). Explaining religion: criticism and theory from Bodin to Freud. London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Prusak, B. (2000). Translators introduction. In D. Janicaud, J.-F. Courtine, J.-L. Chrétien, M. Henry, J. L. Marion, & P. Ricoeur (Eds.), Phenomenology and the “theological turn” (pp. 3–15). New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Pyysiäinen, I. (2003). Buddhism, religion, and the concept of ‘god’. Numen,50, 147–171.Google Scholar
  60. Ritschl, A. (1872). A critical history of the Christian doctrine of justification and reconciliation (J. Black, Trans.). Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas.Google Scholar
  61. Ritschl, A. (1900). The Christian doctrine of justification and reconciliation: The positive development of doctrine (H. MacKintosh & A. Macaulay, Trans.). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.Google Scholar
  62. Ryba, T. (1994). The Idea of the sacred in twentieth-century thought: Four views (Otto, Nygren, Scheler, Tymieniecka). In A. T. Tymieniecka (Ed.), Analecta Husserliana XLIII: From the sacred to the divine (pp. 21–42). London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  63. Scheler, M. (1980). Problems of a sociology of knowledge (M. Frings & K. Stikkers, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  64. Schutz, A. (1962). Collected papers I: The problem of social reality, M. Natanson (ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  65. Sharpe, E. (1986). Comparative religion: A history (2nd ed.). La Salle: Open Court.Google Scholar
  66. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2016). Strangers, trust, and religion: On the vulnerability of being alive. Human Studies,39, 167–187.Google Scholar
  67. Simmons, J. A., & Benson, B. E. (2013). The new phenomenology: A philosophical introduction. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  68. Smart, N. (1969). The religious experience of mankind. London: Collins.Google Scholar
  69. Smart, N. (1973). The phenomenon of religion. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  70. Smart, N. (1996). The dimensions of the sacred. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  71. Spickard, J. (1991). Experiencing religious rituals: A Schutzian analysis of Navajo ceremonies. Sociological Analysis,52(2), 191–204.Google Scholar
  72. Srubar, I. (2017). Religion and violence. Paradoxes of Religious Communication. Human Studies,40, 501–518.Google Scholar
  73. Staudigl, M. (2017). Alfred Schutz and phenomenology of religion: Explorations into ambiguous territory. Human Studies,40, 491–499.Google Scholar
  74. Strenski, I. (2006). Thinking about religion: An historical introduction to theories of religion. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  75. Tuckett, J. (2015a). Levels of intersubjectivity: Scheler’s “idea of man” and Schutz’s human prejudice. Schutzian Research,7, 105–128.Google Scholar
  76. Tuckett, J. (2015b). The prejudice of being human in the study of non-ordinary realities. Diskus.  https://doi.org/10.18792/diskus.v17i2.69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Tuckett, J. (2016a). Clarifying phenomenologies in the study of religion: Separating Kristensen and van der Leeuw from Otto and Eliade. Religion,46(1), 75–101.Google Scholar
  78. Tuckett, J. (2016b). Clarifying the phenomenology of Gerardus van der Leeuw. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion,28(3), 227–263.Google Scholar
  79. Tuckett, J. (2017). Toward a proper phenomenology of religious experience. Journal for the Study of Religion Experience,3, 3–43.Google Scholar
  80. Tuckett, J. (2018a). The idea of social science and proper phenomenology. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  81. Tuckett, J. (2018b). Prolegomena to a philosophical phenomenology of religion: A critique of sociological phenomenology. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion,30, 97–136.Google Scholar
  82. Tuckett, J. (2018c). Spirituality and intersubjective consensus: A response to Ciocan and Ferencz-Flatz. Human Studies,41, 313–331.Google Scholar
  83. Tuckett, J. (forthcoming). The idea of religion: A historical sociology of knowledge. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  84. van der Leeuw, G. (1963). Religion in essence and manifestation (2nd ed.) (J. Turner & H. Penner, Trans.). New York: Harper and Row Publishers.Google Scholar
  85. Zachhuber, J. (2013). Theology as science in nineteenth-century Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unseen UniversityEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations