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History of Religions

Subject History, Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxxiv ] A sub-discipline of R eligionswissenschaft in the German-speaking world. In English, however, the term is often used to translate the German word Religionswissenschaft as in the case of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), being thus the equivalent of what is called the S tudy of religions by others. As a sub-discipline of Religionswissenschaft it is the discipline which provides all relevant data concerning religious traditions of humankind. Consequently, it is not restricted to the historical development of religions alone but is also concerned with the presentation of their respective doctrines and behavioural codes, as well as with the interpretation of holy scriptures, if there are any, and the development of ritual forms up to the present. With regard to the adherents of religions the history of religions has an interest in social strata, in the political options in society and, to some extent, in the influence of religions on the psychological development of their followers, though other subdisciplines of Religionswissenschaft , such as S ociology of religion and P sychology of religion , treat these in greater detail. The wide range of study interests indicates that the history of religion(s) is neither exclusively historically oriented towards a pure listing of historical facts nor limited in its interests to aspects of the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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