Einladung zur Antrittsvorlesung Prof. Dr. Robert A. Yelle Mind the Past

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.