2. Methodological Approaches to the Study of Religion
Keywords: faith, tradition, transcendence, method, temperamental attitude
2.1 Theological Approach
Early religious studies as a scientific discipline started from the second half of the 19th century. Religion, however, was there long before, and along with it different approaches. Firstly, it must be said that faith can be lived in complete immersion to religion, without distance, and without rational reflection. To the first forms of faith belong myth and also magic, while there are still discussions about to what extent these forms can be considered religious. Such an approach means that one takes beliefs, rituals, moral standards, and many other aspects of faith as something given, which he/she does not dispute, that he/she does not ask inquisitive questions. It is mostly associated with the supernatural or transcendent origin of religious traditions. ← 17 | 18 →
The Axial Epoch (approximately the 8th – 4th century BC) is considered a cultural turning point associated with the development of philosophy, the use of critical reflection, asking questions which broke the majority of previously existing granted cultural circumstances, searching for deeper reasons, which together could form a net or web of meanings to understand reality. The theological approach is fully set within the framework of its own religious traditions, but it helps to deepen and systematise them. An example might be the deepening of the concepts of Brahman and Atman and searching for the relationship between Upanishads in ancient India or polling to learn of the evil in the Old Testament’s Book...
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