The Invention of World Religions

The Invention of World Religions

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The idea of qworld religionsq expresses a vague commitment to multiculturalism. Not merely a descriptive concept, qworld religionsq is actually a particular ethos, a pluralist ideology, a logic of classification, and a form of knowledge that has shaped the study of religion and infiltrated ordinary language. In this ambitious study, Tomoko Masuzawa examines the emergence of qworld religionsq in modern European thought. Devoting particular attention to the relation between the comparative study of language and the nascent science of religion, she demonstrates how new classifications of language and race caused Buddhism and Islam to gain special significance, as these religions came to be seen in opposing terms-Aryan on one hand and Semitic on the other. Masuzawa also explores the complex relation of qworld religionsq to Protestant theology, from the hierarchical ordering of religions typical of the Christian supremacists of the nineteenth century to the aspirations of early twentieth-century theologian Ernst Troeltsch, who embraced the pluralist logic of qworld religionsq and by so doing sought to reclaim the universalist destiny of European modernity.(103-4) Here, six ofthe time-honored a€œbook religionsa€ ofthe world are identified in their genealogical relation to one another.11 In addition ... the same time marks a reaca€” tion against the ancient Brahmanism of India, withered away after a time on the soil from which it had sprung, ... 12 Extending this diagram further, Muller adds to the list ofsix Aryan and Semitic religions two more, repa€” ARYAN FAMILY anbsp;...

Title:The Invention of World Religions
Author:Tomoko Masuzawa
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2012-04-26


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