History and Vulnerability: A Response to Levene and Furey

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Nathan Rein Ursinus College, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Olin 220, Collegeville, PA 19426

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The articles by N. Levene (writing on St. Anselm's Proslogion) and C. Furey (on Thomas More's Utopia) in this volume offer a nuanced critical perspective on historicist tendencies in the study of religion. While insisting on the importance of seeing primary texts as embedded in their historical context, both propose that scholars simultaneously seek to maintain an element of openness and vulnerability to the voices of the past. This can serve as a counterweight to the typical historicist strategy of debunking and unmasking the past's pretensions to authoritative discourse.

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