The Religious Experience

The Religious Experience : Classical Philosophical and Social Theories

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For courses in the Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology of Religion in the departments of Sociology and Religious Studies; also appropriate as a supplemental text in Seminaries and Schools of Theology.

Providing a full exposition of the classical philosophical and social theories of religion, this text covers the major thinkers from the time of the 18th century Enlightenment through the 20th century. It discusses virtually all classical works, providing chapters on each participant in historical order, so that students can learn how insight developed through time.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 147.3 x 223.5 x 12.7mm | 453.6g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0130982393
  • 9780130982391

Back cover copy

This chronologically organized book offers readers the opportunity to examine the development of religious thinking from the 18th-century Enlightenment through the 20th century. The contributions of all of the major social thinkers are considered in this thoughtful and integrative look at the classical roots of religious thought.
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Table of contents

Preface: The Scientific Study of Religion: The Beginnings.

1. Rousseau.

The Creed of a Savoyard Priest. Rousseau on Civil Religion.

2. Hegel.

Romanticism and Nationalism. Hegel's Early Essays on Religion. Hegel's Later Philosophy of Religion.

3. The Young or Left Hegelians.

Feuerbach on the Essence of Religion. Marx's Critique. Max Stirner. The Rebuttal of Stirner by Marx and Engels. Bruno Bauer on the So-Called Jewish Question.

4. Marx.

The Young Marx on Religion.

5. Nietzsche.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Beyond Good and Evil. On the Genealogy of Morals. Guilt, Bad Conscience, and Ascetic Ideals. The Anti-Christ.

6. Max Weber.

The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism. The Spirit of Capitalism. Traditionalism. Luther's Conception of the Calling. The Religious Foundations of Worldly Asceticism. Calvinism. Pietism. Methodism. The Baptist Sects. Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber's Travels in America and their Confirmation of His Thesis. Criticisms of the Weber Thesis.

7. Max Weber on the World Religions.

The Religion of China. Confucianism and Puritanism. The Religion of India. Orthodox Hinduism. Jainism. Ancient Buddhism. Ancient Judaism. The Hebrew Prophets: The Setting. The Prophetic Ethic. The "Pariah" Community.

8. E.B. Tylor.

Retribution Theory? Development or Degeneration? The Soul as the Source of Animism. Fetishism and Idolatry. Totemism. Polytheism.

9. James George Frazer.

The King of the Wood. From Magic to Religion. The Worship of Trees. Solving the Mystery.

10. Bronislaw Malinowski.

Death and the Functions of Religion. Malinowski's Theory of Magical Language.

11. Sigmund Freud.

Religion as Illusion. Freud's Repudiation of Religious Beliefs.

12. Emile Durkheim.

Totemism: An Elementary Religion. Ascetic Rites. Criticisms of Durkheim's Theory.

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