Contemporary Theoretical Approaches to Religion


Church-State Relations in the Theory of Religious Economy

Clifford Geertz’s Interpretative Anthropology of Religion: Religious Practices as Webs of Meaning

Clifford Geertz, well known as the founder of "interpretative anthropology", is still not fully acknowledged within the field of Russian religious studies. His works, however, may be of interest
not just for his fieldwork methodology but also for the essential role of religion in Geertz’ social theorizing. His understanding of religion evolved, but in general he saw it as a net of meanings that allow people to transcend the everyday and to overcome existential finitude.

The Scientific Legacy of Evgeny Torchinov and His Typology of Religions

Ten years passed after the death of outstanding Russian sinologist and religious studies scholar Evgeny Torchinov. In this paper the authors conceptualize his life and career and his academic

Religion as an "Autopoietic System" in the Works of Niklas Luhmann

The article deals with understanding of religion within the theory of "autopoietic systems" of Niklas Luhmann. Religion acts as a continuous, renewable "control over the border with the unknown", as "a knowledge of the mysterious". Three typological and historical forms of religion are idenitified in Luhmann’s theory: the magical-mythological tradition of early societies; a dichotomous differentiation of "Great Tradition / little tradition" in the period of great imperial civilizations; and current forms of religiosity in modern and postmodern "differentiated society".

New Atheistic Approaches in the Cognitive Science of Religion

Approaches to the Study of Religion in Modern Evolutionary Psychology

Cognitive Science and the Study of Religion

The paper discusses main aspects of modern cognitive science of religion. It shows that researchers, working within the cognitive frame based on naturalism and the theory of evolution, treat religion as a special form of cognitive activity and correlate the genesis of religion with the origin of consciousness and some special functions of its earliest forms.

Religion and Theory: Current Trends

No. 3 (31) 2013