Modes of (Non-)Religiosity and Unbelief

Johannes Quack

in Disenchanting India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199812608
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919406 | DOI:
Modes of (Non-)Religiosity and Unbelief

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This theoretical chapter builds upon the argument of Ulrich Berner that it is often more fruitful to heuristically structure religious fields not just along the lines of religion, but by distinguishing different “modes of religiosity”. It is argued that despite the important criticism against the concept of “belief,” as for example outlined by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the notion “modes of unbelief” helps to not just capture the distinguishing characteristics of the Indian rationalists. It also provides the basis on which to conceptualize similarities and differences between specific modes of religiosity and unbelief, undermining thereby, the opposition between religion and atheism, as well as religiosity and unbelief.

Keywords: religion; religiosity; belief; unbelief; Ulrich Berner; Wilfred Cantwell Smith

Chapter.  4739 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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