Global Phenomenologies of Religion

An Oral History in Interviews

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Steven Engler, Satoko Fujiwara, David Thurfjell
  • Sheffield, UK: 
    , March
     300 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Global Phenomenologies of Religion offers a new way of looking at the past, current and future trajectory of the study of religion. The phenomenology of religion was once widely acknowledged to be the core of the study of religion as an autonomous discipline. First used as a term by the Dutch scholar Chantepie de la Saussaye in 1887, it was developed by Gerardus van der Leeuw in the 1930s and 40s, became popular in the 1960s and 70s and then met severe criticism, virtually disappearing by the beginning of the twenty-first century.

This book adds to our global understanding of the history of the study of religion. Interviews with scholars from ten different countries offer a lived history, covering more than half a century. The resulting picture is diverse and nuanced, revealing important national and regional differences, and challenging long-held views about the rise and decline of this venerable approach to the study of religion.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Satoko Fujiwara is professor of religious studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Her publications include “Problems of Teaching about Religion in Japan: Another Textbook Controversy against Peace?,” in R. Jackson and S. Fujiwara eds., Peace Education and Religious Plurality: International Perspectives (Routledge, 2008), and Religions in Textbooks: Religious Education that is Not Supposed to Exist in Japan (in Japanese, Iwanami, 2011).

David Thurfjell is professor in the study of religions at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden.

Steven Engler is professor of religious studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. He teaches a variety of courses and research popular Catholicism, Umbanda, Kardecist Spiritism and related spirit-incorporation religions in Brazil, as well as theories and methodology in the study of religions.


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