LUDWIGMAXIMILIANSUNIVERSITÄT MÜNCHEN INTERFAKULTÄRER STUDIENGANG RELIGIONSWISSENSCHAFT Einladung zur Antrittsvorlesung Prof. Dr. Robert A. Yelle Lehrstuhl Theorie und Methodik der Religionswissenschaft Mind the Past: History and Comparison in the Study of Religion Mittwoch, 10. Juni, 18-20 Uhr c.t., LMU-Hgb., Raum A 022 Im Anschluss an die Vorlesung wird zu einem Umtrunk in den Lichthof gebeten. ABSTRACT: Characteristic of much scholarship in the study of religion in recent decades, particularly but not exclusively in the English-speaking world, has been the avoidance of grand comparative frames and historical narratives-with some obvious exceptions, such as Charles Taylor and Robert Bellah. As more theorists have argued that our concept of religion, or of ritual, etc., is a relatively recent invention, other scholars of religion have focused on producing specialized works of philology, history, or ethnography, in which the comparative study of different traditions plays a vanishingly small role. This situation is detrimental, to say the least, from the perspective of a science of religion, in which general concepts are supposed to inform the interpretation and explanation of particular data. My lecture defends the need for a comparative and historically reflexive study of religion. In particular, I argue that recognition of the indebtedness of our ideas and practices of religion to transformations in Christian traditions does not invalidate the comparative study of religion as hopelessly biased, but rather enhances the relevance of that study as a necessary antidote to our cultural parochialism and as a critical genealogy of our modern, supposedly secular age.
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