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An Unnatural History of Religions : Academia, Post-Truth and the Quest for Scientific Knowledge.

Author: Leonardo Ambasciano
Publisher: London : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2018.
Series: Scientific Studies of Religion: Inquiry and Explanation Ser.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"An Unnatural History of Religions examines the origins, development, and critical issues concerning the history of religion and its relationship with science. The book explores the ideological biases, logical fallacies, and unwarranted beliefs that surround the scientific foundations (or lack thereof) in the academic discipline of the history of religions, positioning them in today's 'post-truth' culture. Leonardo  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Ambasciano, Leonardo.
An Unnatural History of Religions : Academia, Post-Truth and the Quest for Scientific Knowledge.
London : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, ©2018
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Leonardo Ambasciano
ISBN: 9781350062399 1350062391
OCLC Number: 1083042854
Notes: Dismantling phenomenological morphology: Ioan P. Culianu
Description: 1 online resource (281 pages)
Contents: Cover page; Halftitle page; Series page; Title page; Copyright page; Dedication; Contents; Figures and Tables; Preface: Ghosts, Post- truth Despair and Brandolini's Law; Acknowledgements; Note on Text; 1 An Incoherent Contradiction; A geological divide; Mapping the problematique; Maps, compasses and bricks; Sui generis crisis; The arms race of natural theology; 2 The Deep History of Comparison; A rusty toolbox; Birth certificate(s): Ultimate origins; A preliminary note on imperialism, postmodernism and science Rationality as cumulative by- product of comparison: From Jean Bodin to Edward Burnett TylorEnter comparative mythology: Friedrich Max Müller; Triumph and dissolution of comparison: James George Frazer; Whodunnit?; Shape of things to come; 3 The Darwinian Road Not Taken; 'The greatest historian of all time'; The threat of a scientific and comparative study of religion; The Origin of Species, 1859: Breaking the chain of being; The Descent of Man, 1871: Degrees, not kinds; The Rubicon: Max Müller versus Darwin; Ladders, progress and pithecophobia; Original sin; 4 Goodbye Science The theory of everythingA scientific theology? William Robertson Smith's 'dual life'; Smith's heretical accommodationism, 1880s; The end of the Victorian science of religion; Birth certificate(s): HoR's proximate origins; Netherlands, 1860s: Tiele's (tentative) science of religion; Netherlands, 1870s: Chantepie's theological reaction; Netherlands, 1930s: van der Leeuw's re-confessionalization; Germany, 1890s: 'Cultural circles', geography and reactionary politics; Austria and Switzerland, 1900s-1950s: Schmidt's apologetic history of religion Schmidt's legacy: The strategic rescue of Andrew Lang's High Gods as an early home run for post-truthItaly, 1910s-1950s: Pettazzoni's revolutionary rebuttal; Italy, 1920s-1930s: Pettazzoni's two-fold gamble; 1950: The foundation of the IAHR and the defeat of science; 5 Eliadology; Neither with you nor without you: Mircea Eliade; Eliade, 1920s-1980s: From Romanian post-truth to American New Age; The sacred from the Stone Age to the present and back again; Schmidt's 'stupendous learning and industry'; An epistemic twilight: Pseudoscience and esotericism Shamanism, 1200s-1800s: Heretics, noble savages, (super)heroesShamanism, 1937-1946: Eliadean superpowers; Shamanism, 1951-1970s: the Eliadean synthesis; Resolving 'The problem of shamanism': An unwarranted answer to a non-existent question; 6 The Demolition of the Status Quo; Point of (k)no(w) return: The politics of the Eliadean HoR; Sexist biases and gender issues: Eliade's tunnel vision; Dismantling homo religiosus : Rita M. Gross; Dismantling the Eliadean research programme: Henry Pernet; Dismantling the primacy of shamanism: Mac Linscott Ricketts
Series Title: Scientific Studies of Religion: Inquiry and Explanation Ser.

Abstract:

"An Unnatural History of Religions examines the origins, development, and critical issues concerning the history of religion and its relationship with science. The book explores the ideological biases, logical fallacies, and unwarranted beliefs that surround the scientific foundations (or lack thereof) in the academic discipline of the history of religions, positioning them in today's 'post-truth' culture. Leonardo Ambasciano provides the necessary critical background to evaluate the most important theories and working concepts dedicated to the explanation of the historical developments of religion. He covers the most important topics and paradigm shifts in the field, such as phenomenology, postmodernism, and cognitive science. These are taken into consideration chronologically, each time with case studies on topics such as shamanism, gender biases, ethnocentrism, and biological evolution. Ambasciano argues that the roots of post-truth may be deep in human biases, but that historical justifications change each time, resulting in different combinations. The surprising rise of once-fringe beliefs, such as conspiracy theories, pseudoscientific claims, and so-called scientific creationism, demonstrates the alarming influence that post-truth ideas may exert on both politics and society. Recognising them before they spread anew may be the first step towards a scientifically renewed study of religion."--Bloomsbury Publishing.

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