BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Primordialists and Constructionists: a typology of theories of religion

    Eric, Kaufmann (2012) Primordialists and Constructionists: a typology of theories of religion. Religion, Brain and Behavior 2 (2), pp. 140-160. ISSN 2153-599X.

    [img]
    Preview
    Text
    4942.pdf - Accepted Version

    Download (677kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    This article adopts categories from nationalism theory to classify theories of religion. Primordialist explanations are grounded in evolutionary psychology and emphasize the innate human demand for religion. Primordialists predict that religion does not decline in the modern era but will endure in perpetuity. Constructionist theories argue that religious demand is a human construct. Modernity initially energizes religion, but subsequently undermines it. Unpacking these ideal types is necessary in order to describe actual theorists of religion. Three distinctions within primordialism and constructionism are relevant. Namely those distinguishing: a) materialist from symbolist forms of constructionism; b) theories of origins from those pertaining to the reproduction of religion; and c) within reproduction, between theories of religious persistence and secularization. This typology helps to make sense of theories of religion by classifying them on the basis of their causal mechanisms, chronology and effects. In so doing, it opens up new sightlines for theory and research.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Theories of religion, general theory of religion, primordialism, constructionism, secularization theory
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Eric Kaufmann
    Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 13:20
    Last Modified: 17 Feb 2014 10:09
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4942

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    413Downloads
    252Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item