The Different Approaches to the Study of Religion


There are two basic approaches to the study of Religion. The first is the “substantive” approach, which requires belief in a distinct reality. The second approach drops the substantive component and focuses instead on practices that unite a community. This is the approach advocated by Emile Durkheim. This is the more common approach and is a more accurate description of religion today.

Religion as a social genus

The idea of religion as a social genus has been around for centuries. Its definitions differ in different cultures and regions. Its origins are in Latin, where the word religio means “scrupulousness.” This meaning has been used for centuries as a noun and adjective to describe devout people and their behaviors.

Over the past forty years, social science has taken a reflexive turn, arguing that religion is a social construct, not an inherent part of human nature. While some scholars claim that religion is a Western invention, others contend that religion is a universal concept that has existed for thousands of years.

Monothetic approach

The Monothetic approach to religion involves using a single property or set of properties to define religion. It claims that a religion has one property or set that is common to all forms of life. It then proposes a simple Yes/No question regarding this one characteristic. It is often used in the analysis of the nature of religion.

The Monothetic approach to religion is often described as a scientific approach, which focuses on identifying general laws of human behavior. These laws are developed by performing experiments and observing groups. These findings are then analysed to create general predictions of human behaviour. It is often criticized as being too simplistic, because it fails to take into account the richness of human experience.

Existential complex

The Existential Complex of Religion is a theoretical approach to religion. It challenges the dominant view of religion as a purely interior state. Despite this, it does not seek to deny that religions have social values, and it is important to note that many of these religious traditions are not incompatible with the worldview of many secular philosophers.

One major problem in religion is the notion of truth. This is a core concept of religion, and the question of its truth involves difficult relations between revelation and reason. This problem has been debated since the early days of Christianity.

Religious intolerance

Religious intolerance is the tolerance of another person’s religious beliefs, practices, or lack thereof. It is a serious and dangerous attitude, which often ends up causing a conflict in society. People must develop the ability to respect others’ beliefs and practices, regardless of their own. In order to promote religious tolerance, people should work to eliminate biases and promote understanding.

Religious intolerance is a global issue. The rise of the Islamic State and other extremist groups have made religious intolerance an ongoing threat to freedom of conscience in many countries. The root cause of religious intolerance is complex. While the most obvious form is government punishment of disfavored beliefs, social intolerance is just as damaging. It is often accompanied by private violence or government indifference.