Reason, Freedom and Religion

Reason, Freedom and Religion : Closing the Gap Between the Humanistic and Scientific Study of Religion

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This book argues the advantages of using an unconventional method of social science, the argument from rationality, to ameliorate the disruptive methodological schism which exists between humanistic and social scientific perspectives in "Religionswissenschaft" and the sociology of religion. The argument from rationality curbs the reductive thrust of conventional scientific accounts of religion by integrating the power of human choice, and religious references to the transcendent, into a viable mode of explanation for social and religious action. Attention is focused on the role, character, and limits of the judgements of rationality undergirding the practice of the social sciences.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 247 pages
  • 158.75 x 222.25 x 19.05mm | 440g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0820406007
  • 9780820406008

Review quote

-Dawson guides the reader into the heartland of two territories, the territory of debate on the nature of the social sciences and the territory of debate on the nature of religion. He is an imaginative guide, showing the reader the common feature of both terrains and how knowledge of one can help gain knowledge of the other.- (Louis Greenspan, McMaster University)
-Dr. Dawson's book deals in a novel way with one of the most difficult and abiding problems in the philosophy of social science. Although one may not agree with the author's conclusions, the reader will be intrigued with the originality of the thesis and the command of the relevant literature.- (Cyril Levitt, McMaster University) -Dawson proposes a revised scientific method that will allow religion scholars to combine religious and naturalistic explanations of religious phenomena.- (Lonnie D. Kliever, Studies in Religion)
-It is a book easily recommended to anyone interested in the problems of social science and religious studies.- (J.S. Andrews, Michael Demczur, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion)
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