Differentiating the Social Dimension of Religion: On the Heuristic Potential of a Three-Level Concept of Religion

In: Transformation of Religion
Author:
Karsten Lehmann
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Abstract

The article contributes to the discussions on the concept of religion from the point of view of Religious Studies or Religionswissenschaft and presents a two-fold argument: First, the article makes the point that the debates around the concept of religion need to differentiate three different strands of discussion – the définition propre of the concept of religion, the analytic potential of definitions as well as the multiple dimensions of religion. Second, the article proposes a closer look at the social dimension of religion. It will sketch the heuristic potential of a three-level-approach (emphasizing the classic sociological distinction between the micro-, meso- and macro-level of religion) for empirical analyses in the Study of Religion.

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