Method Today - Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion - Brad Stoddard

Method Today - Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion - Brad Stoddard

13. Explanation and the Study of Religion

Method Today - Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion - Brad Stoddard

Egil Asprem [+-]
University of California at Santa Barbara
Egil Asprem is a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara.
Ann Taves [+-]
University of California at Santa Barbara
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Ann Taves is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her most recent book is Revelatory Events: Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths (Princeton, 2016).

Description

This chapter argues that explanation is a necessary, but under-examined, aspect of theories of religion. The authors argue that historical impediments to explanation in our discipline can be overcome if we shift our view from “religion” in the abstract to concrete human behaviors in interaction. Drawing on contemporary discussions in the philosophy of science, they submit that a new mechanistic approach that integrates meanings, values, and intentional actions as causal factors in nested, multi-level mechanisms holds great promise for explaining the complex phenomena associated with “religion”.

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Citation

Asprem, Egil; Taves, Ann. 13. Explanation and the Study of Religion. Method Today - Redescribing Approaches to the Study of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 133-157 Sep 2018. ISBN 9781781795682. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34431. Date accessed: 23 May 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34431. Sep 2018

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