The Scholarship Of Religion And Religion Essay

1379 Words Dec 5th, 2015 6 Pages
The scholarship of religion has historically borrowed from the fields of anthropology and sociology in its analysis of religious practices. In response to the displacement of understanding around religion into a fully observable and explainable phenomenon, a subset of scholars have argued to bring back an understanding of religion that is theological, giving respect to divine factors. One such scholar, German theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher pushed the envelope within the study of religion, in his work On Religion, to emphasize the ownership that individual agents have in intuitively connecting with their religious practices. He argues that religion is a multidimensional practice that goes beyond simple sociological or anthropological paradigms. Despite such merit in his intent, Schleiermacher fails in achieving such expansion of analysis in the study of religion by falling back on arguments that render religion academically unapproachable and moreover, vulnerable to critiques of the Enlightenment period. Through his chapters on “Defence,” “The Nature of Religion,” and “The Religious,” Schleiermacher is unable to provide an adequate response to the Enlightenment’s criticism of religion by removing religion from a field of study, creating a vague notion of infinite that supports religion as a psychological tool, and tailoring a refute only to assert Christianity rather than religion as a field. Schleiermacher in his first chapter, “Defence,” places…

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