Crossing a Threshold in the Scholarly Study of Religion
The Western Epistemic Tradition and the Scientific Study of Religion - Donald Wiebe
Donald Wiebe [+]
University of Toronto
Donald Wiebe is Professor of Philosophy of Religion in Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Religion and Truth: Towards and Alternative Paradigm for the Study of Religion (De Gruyter, 1981), The Irony of Theology and the Nature of Religious Thought (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991), Beyond Legitimation: Essays on the Problem of Religious Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 1994), The Politics of Religious Studies: The Continuing Conflict with Theology in the Academy (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999) and The Learned Practice of Religion in the Modern University (Bloomsbury, 2019).
What might be called ‘the early modern study of religion,’ grounded an attempt to create a coherent scientific field from ‘religious studies’ in Great Britain and Holland. It was not an entirely autonomous academic discipline, nor was it a fully scientific enterprise. Nevertheless, as one historian of the period put it, it gave that academic enterprise “an impulse, a shape, a terminology and a set of ideals” that made a genuinely scientific study of religion possible in the twentieth century.