Introduction to the Study of Religion

According to religious studies scholar Jonathan Z. Smith, research on this subject should not adhere to the definitional criteria established by religious “insiders.” He argues that there is a longstanding tradition that prioritizes philosophical contemplation over ritual practices and material aspects of religion, such as the historical distinction between Protestants and Catholics.

The history of research reveals a preoccupation with tracing the origins of a particular religion and seeking authenticity within those origins. This approach is akin to the emphasis placed by Protestant Christianity on the Bible, rather than considering the entirety of a religious tradition throughout its entire existence.


Hillary Rodrigues, John S. Harding


Lotfollah Jalali

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