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By Timothy Fitzgerald

In recent times there was an intensifying debate in the non secular experiences neighborhood concerning the validity of faith as an analytical type. during this e-book Fitzgerald aspects with those that argue that the idea that of faith itself might be deserted. at the foundation of his personal study in India and Japan, and during a close research of using faith in quite a lot of scholarly texts, the writer continues that the comparative research of faith is known as a kind of liberal ecumenical theology. via pretending to be a technological know-how, faith considerably distorts socio-cultural research. He recommend, notwithstanding, that non secular reports might be re-represented in a manner which opens up new and effective theoretical connections with anthropology and cultural and literary reviews.

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Whether or not 'supernatural' entities or a transcendental location for the sacred are involved, or in what sense values themselves may be said to be represented as transcendental is merely one of the things to be investigated and by no means an a priori part of the definition of the subject matter. I must stress that this argument is not antitheological. It is an argument against theology masquerading as something else, and an enquiry of a limited kind into what reasons can be offered for this.

Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sufis, and Zen practitioners can all claim that in the final analysis their own formulation is closest to the truth, crowning the others with the supreme revelation or insight. The construction and dissemination of this myth, which has begotten both liberal ecumenical theology and the so-called science of religion, is now being achieved through the agency of special university departments, school curricula, and publishing lists. This institutional fact, which is unwittingly disguised by the presence in quite large numbers of sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and so on in the same departments, itself requires anthropological and cultural analysis.

In this case I argue that 'religion' dissolves or ought to dissolve without remainder into ideology or culture understood as institutionalized values and symbolic systems. In other words, when we talk about 'religion' in a non-theological way, we are fundamentally talking about culture in the sense of ritualized institutions imbued with meaning through collective recognition. Further, I suggest that the proposal made by some writers that religion, while part of culture, is a distinct subcategory of culture, fails.

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