4 Answers

  1. Some characteristic common problems that modern religious studies address include:

    • definition of religion, i.e. the boundaries between religious and non-religious, the closest practical application is the answer to the question of which organizations should be registered as religious and which should not;
    • the emergence of religion is manifested in many ways: (1) archeological (discovery of ancient religious objects, the understanding of when and how humans began to practice religion), (2) psychological (what aspects of the psyche associated with the religion, as they can be understood in the future mollicone biology, etc.), (3) from the point of view of new religious movements from their example, we can clearly see the process of the emergence of new religions;
    • features of modern religiosity – how old religions change in modern societies, how new religions differ from old ones, how modern society affects the nature of religiosity;
    • religious radicalism and religious conflicts – how and why religion becomes a factor of radicalization and develops into a political plane;
    • religion and law – how to prevent religion from becoming radicalized and at the same time guarantee citizens ' freedom of conscience;
    • religion and science is a fairly young field of research that is trying to deal with the complex relationship between these two cultural phenomena;
    • esotericism as a cultural phenomenon at the junction between various spheres of culture (religion, science, etc.) – for Western culture, this is a phenomenon that has not been subjected to scientific reflection for a long time, but has played a significant role; in recent decades, researchers ' interest in this topic has noticeably increased.
      The list, of course, is far from exhaustive, but rather some examples.�

    In addition, there are more specific issues that are quite important. For example, in English-language literature, one of the trends is Eastern religions, especially Chinese ones. Islam, too, of course. In the United States, such topics as African-American religiosity and indigenous religions have traditionally attracted great interest. In Russia, there is an increasing interest in studying the existence of religion in the USSR.

    In general, the study of religion opens up the possibility of a deeper understanding of the relevant culture. Even non-believers are influenced by the religious factor, because religious attitudes seem to permeate culture-literature, music, etc.

    Therefore, which culture is relevant, and there direct their attention. It is important to understand what Muslims live there, so we will explore Islam. It is important to understand what the Chinese have there – we will study the religions of China. Etc.

  2. I will broadcast exclusively from my own bell tower.

    Stanislav Panin listed the main and “global” problems of religious studies. I completely agree with his answer. However, there are still a number of particulars that I personally encounter in the field of paganism research.

    Here you just need to forward a couple of disclaimers.

    I'm not a religious scholar. And religious scholars may be offended by what I will write here, they have the right. However, I do notice a number of problems.

    I will write only about Russia. I don't know how things are going abroad, but there is a high probability that it is different.

    So, the problems are:

    Insufficient financial motivation. A religious scholar does not receive money for his religious studies. This problem is generally quite global for Russian science, because for the scientific activity itself, writing articles, conducting research, publishing books-you do not receive any centralized encouragement. That is, religious studies is somewhere in the field of hobbies, when you have a basic income, and you indulge in religious studies in your spare time. That is why many religious scholars are teachers in universities, this is almost the only opportunity to earn money while in the field of religious studies. But even here we must understand that teaching is not a science, it takes up the time that a religious scholar could spend on, in fact, scientific activities. And again, you can't earn much by teaching. Going to religious studies, you, with high chances, doom yourself to a rather modest income.

    Engagement. The second problem stems entirely from the first. After all, if you want to get a little money, you quickly realize that there are commissioned articles and expertise, and there are also grants. But this puts you in the position of a contractor, because ” who pays the girl-he dances her.” By taking a custom article, grant, or expert review, it is very easy to get a technical task with a pre-known result. That is, this is not science, not research, not an objective consideration of the issue, but working out the order. There are plenty of biased religious scholars in Russia, and the unknown chimera “Destructology”is now creeping out of biased religious studies.

    The delineated field of research is unclear. Religious scholars themselves do not really understand what they are doing. Especially considering the presence of anthropologists, cultural scientists and sociologists in Russia. It seems that human beings are studied by anthropologists, including the development of religious thought, field research and surveys. What religious scholars do “in the fields”, in theory, should be done by sociologists. The only thing in which religious scholars hold the palm is the history of religions. It turns out that a religious scholar is such a specialist “about everything and nothing”. Add to this a not completely clear definition of the word “religion” (there are a lot of these definitions), add to this that psychologists sometimes go into religious studies to make jokes (Torchinov, for example), add that there is still little clear about definitions and methods in religious studies in general (the way Christianity has been studied and is being studied is not suitable for NSD, paganism, New Age, esotericism, and much more). And also to add that somewhere in parallel with religious scholars, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists, theologians and theologians are digging the same topic – this is the mess that a religious scholar works in.

    Unclear goals and objectives. It is rather difficult to answer why religious studies exist at all. On the one hand, I myself once answered this question (the studied religion is less dangerous and generates less fear than the unknown one), on the other hand, religious studies globally do not provide any tangible benefits. A religious scholar doesn't have a “I've done THIS, and I can retire”barrier. Old religions have long been studied far and wide (mostly by theologians from the inside, not religious scholars), new religions are not clear how to study, they are just collecting data. Ask the average person why there are engineers or biologists, he will answer. Ask the average person why there are religious scholars… well, there is even an answer below that religious scholars should create religions. This says a lot about the layman's ideas about religious studies. At the same time, religious scholars themselves will most likely easily answer this question (an idea for the question, by the way!).

    Pseudosciences. I have already written that religious scholars in the same research push elbows with anthropologists, cultural scientists, psychologists, historians, sociologists. And I have already written that within religious studies itself, there is a big problem of bias, that is, bias. So you can add pseudosciences to this mess from above. The already mentioned destructology, and much older sectology. The activities of pseudoscientists are, of course, a problem for scientists. And given that pseudosciences grow up at the intersection of religious studies and engagement, an internal problem, then religious studies cannot really fight this until the engagement is eliminated. And that's not going to happen. since religious scholars want to eat something in the morning. It turns out here is such a tangle.

    I repeat, religious scholars themselves are likely to be outraged by my answer, but I do not pretend to be the truth in this matter. Just a look from the outside, the problems that I have encountered myself.

  3. In the era of globalization, religious studies is expected to create a single religion. This need, as they say, is overdue. But religion is too big a deal. Sewing a patchwork quilt out of it, you will definitely tear it. This is the main problem.

  4. The problem is that religion will be misinterpreted, displaying distorted translations, passages that do not correspond to the content and people begin to believe what they publish on different sites on the Internet, the problem is most likely in the people themselves who do not have sufficient knowledge begin to believe everything that is written on the Internet

Leave a Reply