The Sacred and its Scholars
This volume of essays is devoted to a careful examination of the importance of methodology in the study of primary religious data. The essays focus on the "Sacred" as an ultimate object of descriptive analysis and critical scrutiny on the part of a select number of North American and European methodologists in the study and teaching of the history of religions and its allied disciplines. The central question to which the contributors respond are these: What is the Sacred? Is it a being or a concept of a being; is it a mental state or an objective reality or something else entirely? Can the Sacred be described as an empirical fact, or as a formal rule for religious inquiry? If the Sacred is a valid category in the study and teaching of religion, then what can be said about the antithesis of the sacred, namely the profane or the secular?
This volume probes these questions with great care in order to justify a number of ways the Sacred can be construed as an indispensable notion for the study and teaching of religion.