The Invention of Religions - Daniel Dubuisson

The Invention of Religions - Daniel Dubuisson


The Invention of Religions - Daniel Dubuisson

Daniel Dubuisson [+-]
CNRS, Paris
Daniel Dubuisson is Research Director emeritus at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Paris). He studied and worked with Georges Dumézil until his death in 1986. He has published La Légende royale dans l'Inde ancienne, Râma et le Râmâyana (Economica, Paris, 1986); Mythologies du XXe siècle, Dumézil, Eliade, Lévi-Strauss, (Septentrion, Lille, 1993; translated into Italian, 1995; Romanian, 2003; and English: 20th Century Mythologies, Equinox Publishing, 2006); Anthropologie poétique, Esquisses pour une anthropologie du texte (Peeters, Louvain, 1996); L'Occident et la religion Mythes, science et idéologie (Complexe, Bruxelles, 1998; translated into English: The Western Construction of Religion: Myths, Knowledge, and Ideology, Johns Hopkins, 2003); Dictionnaire des grands thèmes de l’histoire des religions De Pythagore à Lévi-Strauss (Complexe, Bruxelles, 2004); Les Sagesses de l’homme Bouddhisme, paganisme, spiritualité chrétienne (Septentrion, Lille, 2004; translated into Italian, Dedalo, 2007; and English: Wisdoms of Humanity Buddhism, Paganism and Christianity, Brill, 2011); Impostures et pseudo-science L’œuvre de Mircea Eliade (Septentrion, Lille, 2005); Religion and Magic in Western Culture (Brill, 2016).


For less than thirty years, a scientific revolution has taken place in the religious studies departments of several North American and British universities—and the results are considerable, obliging us to envisage new ways of conceiving of this academic field. While the History of Religions tended to rest in the shade and guardianship of past authorities, this critical current has re-examined the discipline’s a priori positions, its favourite arguments, its long prehistory within Euro/Christian culture, but also its numerous ethnocentric prejudices. The first part of the volume considers anew the origins and Christian history of the notion of religion. This starting point then allows us to identify dead ends and contradictions within the traditional History of Religions approach. The second part is dedicated to the synthetic presentation of the concepts, methods, and controversies, which distinguish this current. Following this are two related contributions devoted to two major case studies: “Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism” and “The Invention of Hinduism and Shintoism”. Finally, in the third and last part of the book, is critically examined this trend itself, identifying some of the paradoxes, gaps, and aporias that this approach has already gathered during its short existence.

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Dubuisson, Daniel. Introduction. The Invention of Religions. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 1-4 Oct 2019. ISBN 9781781798133. Date accessed: 19 Jan 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36863. Oct 2019

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