Advertisement

From Religious Contact to Scientific Comparison and Back: Some Methodological Considerations on Comparative Perspectives in the Science of Religion

  • Volkhard KrechEmail author
Chapter
  • 548 Downloads
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT)

Abstract

(1) After dealing with some of the challenges in the study of religion and with the operation called “comparison,” the article focuses on (2) thoughts on the relation between object- and metalanguage, followed by (3) remarks on comparison from the perspective of a sociology of knowledge, and (4) concludes with some considerations on the emergence of regional religious fields and of a global religious field.

Ad 1) “Eurocentrism” might be avoided if we look at religious contact and the entangled history of religions, by which religious fields are constituted in empiricism. From this perspective, comparison is first and foremost a part of the empirical history of religions itself. However, academic comparison must refer to certain analytic frames of references.

Ad 2) Academic metalanguage can best correspond with religious-historical material and avoid a sterile scientism when it is linked with the reflection that emerges during religious contact and in which an object-linguistic awareness of the religious arises.

Ad 3) Comparative research on religion might be based on a sociological frame of reference, namely on the question of how a religion as a system of symbols generates forms of institutionalization and vice versa. Different social forms of religion are discussed.

Ad 4) Regional religious fields and the emerging global religious field emerge by establishing inner and outer boundaries. Inner boundaries form through the labeling of Self and Other––as an amalgam of social formations and religious semantics––which establish a discursive field. Outer boundaries are formed by distinctions and interactions between religion and other societal fields.

Keywords

Religious Group Religious Tradition Family Resemblance Religious Movement Societal Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Ahlemeyer, Heiner W. 1989. “Was ist eine soziale Bewegung? Zur Distinktion und Einheit eines sozialen Phänomens.” Zeitschrift für Soziologie 18: 175–191.Google Scholar
  2. Atran, Scott. 2002. In Gods We Trust. The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barker, Eileen, ed. 1982. New Religious Movements: Perspective for Understanding Society. Toronto: Edwin Mellen.Google Scholar
  4. Barker, Eileen, ed. 1993. “Neue religiöse Bewegungen: Religiöser Pluralismus in der westlichen Welt.” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 33:231–248.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, Howard. 1950. Through Values to social Interpretation: Essays on social Contexts, Actions, Types, and Prospects. Durham: Duke University Press. [Germ. transl.: Soziologie als Wissenschaft vom sozialen Handeln. Würzburg: Holzner, 1959].Google Scholar
  6. Beckford, James A. 1973. “Religious Organization. A Trend Report and Bibliography.” Current Sociology 21 (2):7–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, Howard. 1959. Soziologie als Wissenschaft vom sozialen Handeln. Würzburg: HolznerGoogle Scholar
  8. Bellah, Robert N. 1967. “Civil Religion in America.” Daedalus 96:1–21.Google Scholar
  9. Beyer, Peter. 1994. Religion and Globalization. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Beyer, Peter. 2006. Religions in Global Society. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Bourdieu, Pierre. 2000. Das religiöse Feld. Texte zur Ökonomie des Heilsgeschehens. Translated by Andreas Pfeuffer. Constance: Universitäts Verlag Konstanz.Google Scholar
  12. Casanova, José. 2010. “Religion in Modernity as Global Challenge.” In Religion und die umstrittene Moderne, edited by Michael Reder and Matthias Rugel, 1–16. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.Google Scholar
  13. Dowdy, Edwin, ed. 1982. Ways of Transcendence: Insights from Major Religions and Modern Thought. Bedford Park, South Australia: Australian Association for the Study of Religions.Google Scholar
  14. Eiben, Jürgen and Willy Viehöfer. 1993. “Religion und soziale Bewegungen––Zur Diskussion des Konzepts der ‘Neuen Religiösen Bewegungen’.” Forschungsjournal Neue Soziale Bewegungen 3–4:51–75.Google Scholar
  15. Eisenstadt, Shmuel N. 1986. The Origins and Diversity of Axial Age Civilizations. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  16. Eliade, Mircea. 1978. A History of Religious Ideas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Euler, Walter Andreas. 1990. Unitas et Pax. Religionsvergleich bei Raimundus Lullus und Nikolaus von Kues. Würzburg/Altenberge: Echter Verlag/Telos Verlag.Google Scholar
  18. Fitzgerald, Timothy. 2000. The Ideology of Religious Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Geertz, Clifford. 1973. “Religion As a Cultural System.” In The Interpretation of Cultures, by Clifford Geertz, 87–125. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  20. Gell, Alfred. 1998. Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gellner, Ernest. 1981. Muslim Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Gosden, Chris. 2005. “What do Objects Want?” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12 (3):193–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gosden, Chris, and Yvonne Marshall. 1999. “The Cultural Biography of Objects.” World Archaeology 31(2):169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hannigan, John A. 1990. “Apples and Oranges or Varieties of the same Fruit? The New Religious Movements and the New Social Movements compared.” Review of Religious Research 31:246–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  26. Hardy, Edmund. 1901. “Zur Geschichte der vergleichenden Religionsforschung.” Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 4:45ff.Google Scholar
  27. Haußig, Hans-Michael, and Bernd M. Scherer, eds. 2003. Religion: Eine europäisch-christliche Erfindung? Beiträge eines Symposiums am Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Berlin: Philo.Google Scholar
  28. Heiler, Friedrich. 1961. Erscheinungsformen und Wesen der Religion. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.Google Scholar
  29. Jordan, Louis H. 1905. Comparative Religion: Its Genesis and Growth. Edinburgh: Kessinger Publishing.Google Scholar
  30. Kehrer, Günter. 1988. “Religiöse Gruppenbildungen.” In Religionswissenschaft. Eine Einführung, edited by Hartmut Zinser, 96–113. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.Google Scholar
  31. Kehrer, Günter. 1998. Einführung in die Religionssoziologie. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.Google Scholar
  32. Kippenberg, Hans G. 1997. Die Entdeckung der Religionsgeschichte. Munich: Beck.Google Scholar
  33. Kippenberg, Hans G, and Kocku von Stuckrad. 2003. Einführung in die Religionswissenschaft: Gegenstände und Begriffe. Munich: Beck.Google Scholar
  34. Kleine, Christoph. 2010. “Wozu außereuropäische Religionsgeschichte? Überlegungen zum Nutzen der außereuropäischen Religionsgeschichte für die religionswissenschaftliche Theorie- und Identitätsbildung.” Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 18 (1):3–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kleine, Christoph. 2012. “Zur Universalität der Unterscheidung religiös/säkular: Eine systemtheoretische Betrachtung.” In Religionswissenschaft. Ein Studienbuch, edited by Michael Stausberg, 65–80. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  36. Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina. 2007. Zur Ausdifferenzierung eines autonomen Bereichs Religion in asiatischen Gesellschaften des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts: Das Beispiel der Mongolen. Vol. 16 of Akademievorträge. Berne: Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  37. Krämer, Hans Martin, Jenny Oesterle and Ulrike Vordermark, eds. 2010. “Labeling the Religious Self and Others: Reciprocal Perceptions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians in Medieval and Early Modern Times.” Special issue. Comparativ – Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 20 (4).Google Scholar
  38. Krech, Volkhard 1999. Religionssoziologie. Bielefeld: Transcript.Google Scholar
  39. Krech, Volkhard. 2002. Wissenschaft und Religion. Studien zur Geschichte der Religionsforschung in Deutschland 1871 bis 1933. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar
  40. Krech, Volkhard. 2011. Wo bleibt die Religion? Zur Ambivalenz des Religiösen in der modernen Gesellschaft. Bielefeld: Transcript.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Latour, Bruno (2005): Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Leeuw, van der Geradus. 1933. Phänomenologie der Religion. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar
  43. Lübbe, Hermann. 1986. Religion nach der Aufklärung. Graz: Wilhelm Fink.Google Scholar
  44. Luckmann, Thomas. 1967. The Invisible Religion: The Problem of Religion in Modern Society. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  45. Luckmann, Thomas. 1998. “Moralpredigten in der modernen Gesellschaft?” In Religion als Kommunikation, edited by Hartmann Tyrell, Volkhard Krech and Hubert Knoblauch, 391–416. Würzburg: Ergon.Google Scholar
  46. Luhmann, Niklas. 1975. “Evolution und Geschichte.” In Aufsätze zur Theorie sozialer Systeme. Vol. 2 of Soziologische Aufklärung, 150–169. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  47. Luhmann, Niklas. 1981a. “Geschichte als Prozeß und die Theorie sozio-kultureller Evolution.” In Soziales System, Gesellschaft, Organisation. Vol. 3 of Soziologische Aufklärung, 178–198. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  48. Luhmann, Niklas. 1981b. “Grundwerte als Zivilreligion. Zur wissenschaftlichen Karriere eines Themas.” In Soziales System, Gesellschaft, Organisation. Vol. 3 of Soziologische Aufklärung, 293–308. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  49. Luhmann, Niklas. 1989, “Die Ausdifferenzierung der Religion.” Vol. 3 of Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik. Studien zur Wissenssoziologie der modernen Gesellschaft, 259–357. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  50. Luhmann, Niklas. 2000. Die Religion der Gesellschaft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  51. Martin, David A. 1962. “The Denomination.” The British Journal of Sociology 13:1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Martin, Luther H. 2000. “Comparison.” In Guide to the Study of Religion, edited by Willi Braun and Russell T. McCutcheon, 45–56. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  53. McCutcheon, Russell T. 1997. Manufacturing Religion: The Discourse on sui generis Religion and the Politics of Nostalgia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. McCutcheon, Russell T. 2007. Studying Religion: An Introduction. London: Equinox Publishing.Google Scholar
  55. Mensching, Gustav. 1968. Soziologie der Religion. 2nd ed. Bonn: Röhrscheid.Google Scholar
  56. Morgan, David, ed. 2010. Religion and Material Culture. The Matter of Belief. London: Routledge Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  57. Mörth, Ingo. 1987. “Elements of Religious Meaning in Science-Fiction-Literature.” Social Compass. International review of Sociology of Religion 34:87–108.Google Scholar
  58. Müller, Friedrich Max. 1873. Introduction to the Science of Religion. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  59. Neidhardt, Friedhelm. 1979.”Das innere System sozialer Gruppen.” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 31:639–660.Google Scholar
  60. Nelson, Geoffrey K. 1968. “The Concept of Cult.” Sociological Review 16:351–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Neville, Robert C., ed. 2001. Ultimate realities: A Volume in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  62. Niebuhr, Richard H. 1929. The Social Sources of Denominationalism. New York: Kessinger Publishing.Google Scholar
  63. Robertson, Roland. 1989. “Globalization, Politics and Religion.” In The Changing Face of Religion, edited by James A. Beckford and Thomas Luckmann, 10–23. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  64. Rosch, Eleanor. 1975. “Cognitive Representations of Semantic Categories.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 104 (3):192–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schieder, Rolf. 1987. Civil Religion. Die religiöse Dimension der politischen Kultur. Gütersloh: Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn.Google Scholar
  66. Schmitz, Bertram. 1996. ‘Religionund seine Entsprechungen im interkulturellen Bereich. Marburg: Tectum.Google Scholar
  67. Sharpe, Eric J. 1986. Comparative Religion. A History. 2nd ed. La Salle, Ill: Open Court.Google Scholar
  68. Silberstein, Laurence J. 1999. The Postzionism Debates: Knowledge and Power in Israeli Culture. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  69. Stark, Rodney and William S. Bainbridge. 1985. The Future of Religion. Secularization, Revival and Cult Formation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  70. Steiner, George. 1990. Von realer Gegenwart. Hat unser Sprechen Inhalt? München: Hansen.Google Scholar
  71. Tiele, Cornelius P. 1897–1899. Elements of the Science of Religion, 2 vols. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons.Google Scholar
  72. Troeltsch, Ernst. 1912. Die Soziallehren der christlichen Kirchen und Sekten. Tübingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
  73. Tylor, Edward B. 1871. Primitive Culture. Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Art, and Custom, 2 vols. London: Murray.Google Scholar
  74. Tyrell, Hartmann. 1983. “Zwischen Interaktion und Organisation I: Gruppe als Systemtyp.” In “Gruppensoziologie. Perspektiven und Materialien,” edited by Friedhelm Neidhardt. Special issue. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 25:75–87.Google Scholar
  75. Vásquez, Manuel A. 2011. More than Belief: A Materialist Theory of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Vögele, Wolfgang. 1994. Zivilreligion in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Gütersloh: Kaiser.Google Scholar
  77. Wach, Joachim. 1972. Types of Religious Experience. Christian and Non-Christian. 5th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  78. Wallis, Roy. 1984. The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  79. Weber, Max 1964. “‘Kirchen’ und ‘Sekten’ in Nordamerika.” In Max Weber: Soziologie ––Weltgeschichtliche Analysen––Politik, edited by Johannes Winckelmann, 382–397. Stuttgart: Mohr.Google Scholar
  80. Weber, Max. 1973. Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre. 4th ed. Tübingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
  81. Weber, Max. 1985. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie. Edited by Winckelmann, Johannes. 5th ed. Tübingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
  82. Widengren, Geo 1969. Religionsphänomenologie. 2d ed. Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  83. Williams, Michael A., Collett Cox, and Martin S. Jaffee, eds. 1992. Innovation in Religious Traditions. Essays in the Interpretation of Religious Change. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  84. Wilson, Bryan R. 1970. Religious sects. London: Weidenfeld & NicolsonGoogle Scholar
  85. Wilson, Bryan R. 1976. “Aspects of Secularization in the West.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 3 (4):259–276.Google Scholar
  86. Wilson, Bryan R. 1990. The social Dimensions of Sectarianism: Sects and new religious Movements in contemporary Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Yinger, John Milton. 1970. The Scientific Study of Religion. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Religious StudiesRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

Personalised recommendations