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The Promise of Salvation: A Theory of Religion Hardcover – March 1, 2010
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Nevertheless this is a highly important intervention into debates in religious studies and sociology of religion. It is not in dialog primarily with specialists in particular religious groups, but with people who claim that the abstract concept "religion" refers meaningfully only to a particular discursive formation in the modern west and/or should be abandoned as a coherent overarching category. Contrary to the impression that the earlier reviewer gained, Riesebrodt makes acute, learned, and very welcome observations about the limitations of this way of thinking (as well as its real insights when used intelligently). He carefully defines a framework (rooted in Max Weber's interpretive tradition and emphasizing ritual practices) that constitutes a useful and timely intervention into precisely the current discussions that the earlier reviewer writes about when he says that "religion" is "increasingly recognized as troublesome and insufficient" as a cross-cultural concept.Read more ›