Tradition - A Critical Primer - Steven Engler
Steven Engler [+]
Mount Royal University
Steven Engler is professor of Religious Studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. He teaches a variety of courses and research popular Catholicism, Umbanda, Kardecist Spiritism and related spirit-incorporation religions in Brazil, as well as theories and methodology in the study of religions.
This chapter will review the various meanings of religion, in the rich dictionary sense. A historical overview will show the long-standing link between tradition as history and religion, for example in the Roman typology that classified Judaism and pagan systems as religio and Christianity as superstitio. The goal is to highlight the issues that will inform later theoretical discussion: origin, transmission, truth, authenticity, identity and perception. (The main examples here will be Catholic and Protestant Christianities.)