A Basic Human Faith
Development of Religion in Cultures and Individuals
This course will follow an approach outlined by sociologist Robert Bellah, who theorized that religions pass through specific stages of development: primitive, archaic, historic (or "classical"), and modern. This developmental pattern is also apparent in individuals, who seem to pass through similar stages of understanding.
The Academic Study of Religion
Theology is often defined as a rational reflection about the meaning and coherence of a religious tradition. Although this course will discuss theology (Chapter 11), it would be more appropriate to call the course a “religious studies” course. Theology typically is done from within a religious tradition; religious studies looks at religion from an “outsider’s” perspective. The academic study of religion is an "outsider's" approach.
End of notes on the Introduction
This page last changed Tuesday April 27, 2004
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