Religious studies as a scientific discipline: the persistence of a delusion

Source document: Religio. 2012, vol. 20, iss. 1, pp. [9]-18
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
The historical record shows that no undergraduate departments of Religious Studies have fully implemented a scientific program of study and research since such an approach was first advocated in the late nineteenth century – much less has there been any broad establishment of such a disciplinary field of study. And we argue – on cognitive- and neuro-scientific grounds – that such study is not ever likely to occur in that or any other setting. In our judgment, therefore, to entertain a hope that such a development is, pragmatically speaking, possible, is to be in the grip of a false and unshakeable delusion. And we "confess" that we ourselves have been so deluded.