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978-0-7591-0621-5 / 0759106215

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About the book:

Historians bound by their singular stories and archaeologists bound by their material evidence don? t typically seek out broad comparative theories of religion. But recently Harvey Whitehouse? s ? modes of religiosity? theory has been attracting many scholars of past religions. Based upon universal features of human cognition, Whitehouse? s theory can provide useful comparisons across cultures and historical periods even when limited cultural data is present. In this groundbreaking volume scholars of cultures from prehistorical hunter-gatherers to 19th century Scandinavian Lutherans evaluate Whitehouse? s hypothesis that all religions tend toward either an imagistic or a doctrinal mode depending on how they are remembered and transmitted. Theorizing Religions Past provides valuable insights for all historians of religion and especially for those interested in a new cognitive method for studying the past.

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