Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field of study defined by its object of study: religion. The question of object and study are not easily separable. Recent historical and philosophical work has shown how the idea of a transhistorical, cross-cultural phenomenon called “religion” was created in part through the study of religion and how this process was intertwined with European colonialism (see Religious studies). Disciplines, on the other hand, are most often organized around method of study. As the concept literally implies, a discipline is knowledge created by controlling and adjudicating the processes by which that knowledge is sought. Historians must meet standards of empirical evidence, sociologists must gather data through recognized quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and philosophers must submit to logic and argument.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.