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Fathoming Religion Studies: Treading on the spider’s web

Jaco Beyers
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 4 | a1753 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i4.1753 | © 2017 Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2017 | Published: 20 December 2017

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Abstract

Any attempt at understanding religion proves to be a perilous undertaking. Understanding Religion Studies as it is envisioned to function in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the UP already implies some perils. To fathom the breadth of Religion Studies is like treading on a spider’s web: There are so many interconnected elements related to this field of study. The metaphor of a spider’s web is utilised to portray the interconnectedness of religion to other elements. Kobus Krüger’s concept of conditionality is utilised to describe this interrelatedness. There are many possible approaches to studying religion. This research highlights the anthropological, philosophical and sociological approaches. The relationship between religion and several other disciplines (i.e. education, law, science, politics and economy) is illuminated. Religion Studies at the UP should be aligned with the postcolonial demands for a particular way of doing research in Africa

Keywords

religion studies; conditionality; theology; post-colonialism; traditions

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