RELIGIOUS STUDIES 200
He is only really talking about religion in a 19th Century Judeo Christian context.
ARNAL: "...there is no such thing as 'religion,' and cross culturalor non specific
characterizations of socalled religious phenomena are distorting... 'religion,' in
other words, may be an obstacle to cross-cultural (including cross-temporal)
understanding; hence it must be theorized, as a concept, for that very reason."
arnal holds that our loaded ideas behind the term religion make us look for something
specific in our cross cultural research, and hence blur and misrepresent and parse off
the object of my study.
the term religion, with out cultural meanings for it, defines the object on our terms
and not on its own terms.
scholars don't spend a lot of time trying to define religion because it doesn't really
help them in their studies. it obstructs their religion.
SUBSTANTIVE DEFINITIONS VS CULTURALIST DEFINITIONS
substantive: sui generis religion. there is something there, metaphysically. something
unique to religion. looking for items and practices.
culturalist: religion as a social function. looking for utilities of religion that
does something for the group. religion is a function of something else.
*imo frazer and tylor are more historiographic/ethnographic than either substantive or
TYLOR & FRAZER
arose after Darwin
got read onto culture - cultural religi