Is There a Better Way to Study Religion? The View of William E. Paden

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
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Abstract

This review praises William Paden’s focus on some of the key issues in the study of religion. It questions Paden’s position on three topics: (a) the relationship between evolutionary psychology and functionalism; (b) the compatibility of Durkheim with Eliade; and (c) the ‘newness’ of Paden’s new comparativism.

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Journal of the North American Association for the Study of Religion

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References

Durkheim, Emile. (1963 [1915]). The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Translated by Joseph Ward Swain. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

Eliade, Mircea. (1963). The Sacred and the Profane. Translated by Willard R. Trask. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Paden, William E. (1988). Religious Worlds: The Comparative Study of Religion. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Paden, William E. (1992). Interpreting the Sacred: Ways of Viewing Religion. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Rappaport, Roy A. (1968). Pigs for the Ancestors: Rituals in the Ecology of a New Guinea People. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Segal, Robert A. (2005). Classification and Comparison in the Study of Religion: The Work of Jonathan Z. Smith. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73, pp. 1175-1188.

Segal, Robert A. (2002). Introduction. In: William Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction, pp. vii-xlii.

Segal, Robert A. (2001). In Defense of the Comparative Method. Numen 48, pp. 339-373.

Weber, Max. (2001 [1930]). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Talcott Parsons. London and New York: Routledge.

Weber, Max. (1993 [1920]). The Sociology of Religion. Translated by Ephraim Fischoff. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

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