16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Perspective on Perspectives,
By A Customer
This review is from: Interpreting the Sacred: Ways of Viewing Religion (Paperback)
William Paden presents, in Interpreting the Sacred, an enlightening overview of the ways in which scholarly disciplines have made sense of religious belief and practice. After elaborating in the initial chapters the notion of perspective as a way of creating and ordering experience, the author focuses particularly on the perspectives offered by sociology, psychology, theology, and the religions themselves. Paden's "meta-cognitive" approach thus succinctly traces the genesis of particular scholarly traditions and exemplifies the manner in which cognitive hierarchies and valuations can produce their subject matter while also explicating it. Written as it is in a lucid, non-jargonic style, I would recommend requiring this book for undergraduate introductions to religious studies, and I believe that more advanced scholars could benefit from the book's postmodern but pragmatic approach to the study of religion.