Dutton-Reflection 2

Dutton-Reflection 2 - Dutton A Reflection#2 For years I...

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Dutton, A., Reflection #2, 02/04/08 For years I have been overwhelmed with the various studies of religion; each belief system stating its truth and accuracy above all others. Explaining why their beliefs are the one true path to salvation. It was only until recently that I was presented with an entirely new approach to these concepts. The book Eight Theories of Religion , written by Daniel L. Pals, presents an original and intriguing means of understanding religion. Within this reading there are eight main theories, each providing a detailed explanation as to why religion exists. Each theorist presents their case using psychological, anthropological and/or historical studies to justify their theory. Of these eight different theories the one that has stood out the most to me is the theory presented by Edward Burnett Tylor and James George Frazer. Tylor and Frazer, both agnostics, approach religion without bias. They take a scientific approach by studying only the facts and disregarding any influence of supernatural or miraculous explanations. Through this method they are able incorporate their theories of animism and magic. Their theory also incorporates a multitude of different principles that explain the behaviors of humankind as it influences the evolution of religion. These principles include: primitive culture, magic, psychic unity, the doctrine of survivals, and intellectual evolution. Through these principles they are able to present a scientific approach so effective it brought about questions and doubts within my own faith. Tylor and Frazer’s theories begin with primitive culture; a time without science or any
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course RELI 10023 taught by Professor Lahutsky during the Spring '07 term at TCU.

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Dutton-Reflection 2 - Dutton A Reflection#2 For years I...

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