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A Guide to the Phenomenology of Religion: Key Figures, Formative Influences and Subsequent Debates Paperback – August 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826452892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826452894
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,917,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'In less capable hands, the biographies of leading scholars may show us how Religious Studies has evolved, but in this book Cox offers something far more exciting and important. He shows us what it has meant, what it means and what it might yet mean to study religion. In this accessible and engaging book he challenges students of religion to be clear about what we study and how we might study it better. This book should be part of every course in the Study of Religions.'

Graham Harvey, Lecturer in Religious Studies, The Open University



'This book is a timely and important analysis for all those studying and researching religions as it examines both the historical and cultural dimensions of some key stages and issues in this academic field. The focus on phenomenologists acknowledges their importance in the development of the religious studies as an interdisciplinary field and highlights the way they have engendered important contemporary and cutting edge debates. The work is both scholarly in its rigor and has balance in the way it engages with criticism. There are many original and very up to date suggestions about possible ways in which debates about methods, scholarly perspectives and the the issue of the social engagement of academics might be viewed.'

Peggy Morgan, Lecturer in the Study of Religions, Mansfield College, University of Oxford



'At a time when news programmes are full of stories about religion, the study of religious phenomena in their own right is more important than ever before. In this new book, James L. Cox - a recognised specialist - analyses the key thinkers and the main schools that have formed today's critical thought in the phenomenology of religion. Using a historical approach, he shows their continuing relevance for current debates in the study of religion. This includes the controversial topic of engagement by scholars of religion in the social and political questions of our time. Well organised and clearly written, this comprehensive and illuminating guide will be invaluable both to teachers and students.'

Gerrie ter Haar, Professor of Religion, Human Rights and Social Change, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands



"James Cox offers a succinct but powerful guide to the foundational method utilized by Religious Studies scholars... Cox offers an invaluable Guide to the benefits and demerits of all current approaches to studying"
Graham Harvey, Expository Times, September 2007
(Graham Harvey Expository Times)

"This important book offers a detailed account of debates within the field of phenomoenology of religion... [It] will greatly interest those concerned with such academic issues and is to be valued as a contribution to the debate."
Reviewed by Douglas J. Davies in Theology, 2008


"Cox's book is a mine of information."
Reviewed in International Review of Biblical Studies, 2007.


"the Guide will be helpful to anyone who wants to understand the nature of phenomenological thinking about religion, its historical roots and the on-going debates within religious studies that it has generated"
Temenos (Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion), 2008
(Teuvo Laitila)

'At a time when news programmes are full of stories about religion, the study of religious phenomena in their own right is more important than ever before. In this new book, James L. Cox - a recognised specialist - analyses the key thinkers and the main schools that have formed today’s critical thought in the phenomenology of religion. Using a historical approach, he shows their continuing relevance for current debates in the study of religion. This includes the controversial topic of engagement by scholars of religion in the social and political questions of our time. Well organised and clearly written, this comprehensive and illuminating guide will be invaluable both to teachers and students.'

Gerrie ter Haar, Professor of Religion, Human Rights and Social Change, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands



"James Cox offers a succinct but powerful guide to the foundational method utilized by Religious Studies scholars... Cox offers an invaluable Guide to the benefits and demerits of all current approaches to studying"
Graham Harvey, Expository Times, September 2007
(Sanford Lakoff Expository Times)

"the Guide will be helpful to anyone who wants to understand the nature of phenomenological thinking about religion, its historical roots and the on-going debates within religious studies that it has generated"
Temenos (Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion), 2008
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

James Cox is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philip Blosser on March 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
James Cox (professor at the Univ. of Edinburgh) offers a solid overview of how the movement called "phenomenology of religion" -- loosely understood -- has developed and come to be understood in departments of religious studies in the Dutch and English-speaking worlds. It should be noted that the author describes himself as a religious studies specialist, not a philosopher. This is significant because "phenomenology" is principally a philosophical movement. However, Cox's concerns -- as far as phenomenology goes -- are not principally philosophical, but methodological. He devotes one chapter to the philosopher Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology, but his concerns are formal, not material. He is concerned more with methodological questions than with questions about how the phenomena of religion are experienced and understood phenomenologically. Conspicuous by its omission is the work of Husserl's contemporary, Max Scheler, whose phenomenological study of religion, "Von Ewigen in Menschen" ("On the Eternal in Man") (1921), is of seminal significance philosophically. Instead, Cox traces a Ritschlian thread from Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel through Herrmann, Rudolf Otto, and A. G. Hogg. He sketches out the contributions of Troeltsch, Weber, and Jung; the Dutch contributions of C. P. Tiele, Chantepie de la Saussaye, W. Brede Kristensen, Gerardus van der Leeuw, and C. Jouco Bleeker; the African influence on British studies of Edwin W. Smith, E. Geoffrey Parrinder, and Andrew Walls, as well as the Dutch-influenced Ninian Smart; the North American contributions of Joachim Wach, Mircea Eliade, Jonathan Z. Smith, Wilfred Cantwell Smith; and ensuing contemporary debates.Read more ›
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