Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity - Towards a Dynamic Theory of People and Place - Vaia Touna

Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity - Towards a Dynamic Theory of People and Place - Vaia Touna

10. Strategic Acts I and II

Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity - Towards a Dynamic Theory of People and Place - Vaia Touna

Russell T. McCutcheon [+-]
University of Alabama
Russell T. McCutcheon is University Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, USA. He publishes widely on the history of the study of religion, the tools scholars use in their work, and the practical implications of that work. Among his recent publications are Reading J. Z. Smith (with Willi Braun; Oxford University Press, 2018), ‘Religion’ in Theory and Practice (Equinox Publishing, 2018) and Fabricating Religion (de Gruyter, 2018).

Description

[T]he history of religions is destined to play an important role in contemporary cultural life. This is not only because an understanding of exotic and archaic religions will significantly assist in a cultural dialogue with the representatives of such religions. It is more especially because, by attempting to understand the existential situations expressed by the documents he is studying, the historian of religions will inevitably attain to a deeper knowledge of man. It is on the basis of such a knowledge that a new humanism, on a world-wide scale, could develop. We may even ask if the History of Religions cannot make a contribution of prime importance to its formation. For, on the one hand, the historical and comparative study of religions embraces all the cultural forms so far known, both the ethnological cultures and those that have played a major role in history; on the other hand, by studying the religious expressions of a culture, the scholar approaches it from within, and not merely in its sociological, economic, and political contexts. In the last analysis, the historian of religions is destined to elucidate a large number of situations unfamiliar to the man of the West. It is through an understanding of such unfamiliar, “exotic” situations that cultural provincialism is transcended. (Eliade 1961: 2–3)

Notify A Colleague

Citation

McCutcheon, Russell . 10. Strategic Acts I and II. Strategic Acts in the Study of Identity - Towards a Dynamic Theory of People and Place. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 167-178 Jan 2019. ISBN 9781781790731. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=23803. Date accessed: 27 Feb 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.23803. Jan 2019

Dublin Core Metadata