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Religion Philosophy

Religion in History / La religion dans l’histoire

The Word, the Idea, the Reality / Le mot, l’idée, la realité

edited by Michel Despland & Gérard Vallée

Publisher
CCSR, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 1992
Category
Philosophy, Essays, History
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780889208360
    Publish Date
    Mar 1992
    List Price
    $32.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889202115
    Publish Date
    Mar 1992
    List Price
    $32.95

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Description

The history of the concept of “religion” in Western tradition has intrigued scholars for years. This important collection of eighteen essays brings further light to the ongoing debate. Three of the invited participants, W.C. Smith, M. Despland and E. Feil, has each previously written impressive books treating this subject; the last two acknowledged the impact and continuing influence of Smith’s work, The Meaning and End of Religion.

An introduction and a recapitulation of Smith’s contribution as a scholar set the stage for a retrospective look at the published literature. Contributors then examine the transformation of words (the classical religio to the modern religion), particularities of religion in nineteenth-century France, Troeltsch’s concept of religion, the study of religion from an Asian point of view and the categorization of “World Religions.” The concluding essays elaborate contemporary anthropological, cross-disciplinary, semiological, deconstructive and psychoanalytical methodological approaches to the concept and study of “religion.”

Exploring critically different aspects of the concept and study of religion, these provocative essays typically reflect the methodological pluralism currently existing in the field of Religious Studies. Of interest to scholars and students alike, this collection also contains a complete bibliography of W.C. Smith’s publications.

About the authors

Michel Despland is Professor of Religion at Concordia University.

Gérard Vallée is Professor Emeritus of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His publications include The Spinoza Conversations between Lessing and Jacobi (1988), The Shaping of Christianity 100-800 (1999), and Soundings in G.E. Lessing’s Philosophy of Religion (2000). He has been involved in the editing of the Collected Works since 1998.

Michel Despland's profile page

Gérard Vallée is professor emeritus of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). He studied in Québec and Germany, and worked in the fields of history of Christianity and philosophy of religion. He has also taught in Vietnam, India, and Nigeria. His publications include A Study in Anti-Gnostic Polemics (WLU Press, 1981), The Spinoza Conversations between Lessing and Jacobi (1988), The Shaping of Christianity 100–800 (1999), and Soundings in G.E. Lessing’s Philosophy of Religion (2000). He has been involved in the editing of Nightingale’s Collected Works since 1998.

Gérard Vallée's profile page

Editorial Reviews

''Despland and Vallé (Concordia and McMaster Universities respectively) present an excellent state-of-the-art review of the history of the concept of “religion” in the Western tradition.... These very provocative essays are of great interest to scholars and students alike.''

Studies in Religion, 23/1, 1994

''À la lecture, les collaborations, dans leur ensemble, constituent de solides contributions, soit comme introduction, synthèse ou examen spécifique....[L]e lecteur y trouvera matière stimulante à l'élargissement de ses connaissances et à la réflexion critique.''

Recensions

Other titles by Michel Despland

Other titles by Gérard Vallée