Religion as Orientation and Transformation
A Maximalist Theory
[Religion als Orientierung und Transformation. Eine maximalistische Theorie.]
2017. XII, 217 pages.
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Published in English.In this book, Jan-Olav Henriksen presents an argument for understanding religion as an expression of different types of practices: those of orientation, transformation, and reflection. Instead of understanding religion first and foremost on the basis of doctrine and propositionally articulated belief, he argues that religions should be seen primarily as practices that mediate symbolic resources for orientation and transformation. The meaning of doctrine and reflection is constituted by its relation to such practices. Thus, doctrine does not constitute religion. This approach allows for a maximalist understanding of religion, i.e. seeing religions as a variety of phenomena relating to all dimensions of human experience. This is not possible to understand from a reductionist perspective. The volume offers a concrete, practice-orientated and pragmatistic understanding of the role of religion in different realms of human life.