You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make It Drink

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Gabriel Levy Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim Norway

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As I understand it, the central aim of the field of CSR is to reconcile (in the sense of “consilience”) methods and theories from the natural sciences with research on religion, which though defined in various ways, is usually understood as a universal human phenomenon. This does not necessarily mean religion is innate, but like all universal human phenomena, there will be an evolutionary story to tell about how it, or its constituent elements, came about. The stories are usually about the phenomena of religion writ-large, variously defined, rarely reaching the granularity to make claims about specific historical and cultural circumstances where religion is most relevant to agents. I challenge all scholars of religion to make their metaphysics explicit.

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