Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion - In Celebration of Tim Jensen’s 65th Birthday - Peter Antes

Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion - In Celebration of Tim Jensen’s 65th Birthday - Peter Antes

29. What Became of Superhuman Beings?: Companions and Field Guides in the Study of Religion

Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion - In Celebration of Tim Jensen’s 65th Birthday - Peter Antes

Ingvild Sælid Gilhus [+-]
University of Bergen
GILHUS INGVILD SÆLID is Professor in the history of religions at the University of Bergen (1988-). Research interests: late antiquity and Gnosticism, new religious movements, and theories and methods in the history of religions. Vice Dean (1988) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Bergen (1989-90) and member of the board of the Norwegian Research Council for Social Sciences and Humanities (1993-96). Member of the board of the University of Bergen (1999-), Deputy Chairman of the board of the Norwegian Research Council (2003-), Chairman of the board of Chr. Michelsen Institute. Development Studies and Human Rights (2001-), member of the board of the Bergen Festival (1999-) and member of the Executive Commitee IAHR (1999-2004). Deputy General Secretary of the Executive Committee IAHR (2005-2010). Member of the the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in Trondheim and of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.

Description

The article takes its point of departure in a survey of encyclopedias, companions and field guides in the study of religion. While superhuman beings have pride of place in a main type of definitions of religions, they waver between a theological cum phenomenological and a cultural approach in the encyclopedia; are in the main absent or theologically described in leading companions and guides; are in focus in cognitive studies; and display great activity in works on specific religions. There is a certain ambiguity, bordering to schizophrenia, both between the genres and even within one single book when it comes to how superhuman beings are treated. The article argues that it is difficult to investigate and speak about religion without developing analytical and critical concepts referring to superhuman beings.

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Citation

Gilhus, Ingvild. 29. What Became of Superhuman Beings?: Companions and Field Guides in the Study of Religion. Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion - In Celebration of Tim Jensen’s 65th Birthday. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 375-387 Feb 2016. ISBN 9781781791394. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=28127. Date accessed: 09 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28127. Feb 2016

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