Artifacts and supraphysical worlds: A conceptual analysis of religion

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Artifacts and supraphysical worlds: A conceptual analysis of religion

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dc.contributor.author Modée, Johan
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-01T12:11:11Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-01T12:11:11Z
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.isbn 91-628-6610-9
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10682
dc.description.abstract It is a contested question in contemporary theories of religion whether the concept of religion can be defined in a sound way or not. Many theorists maintain that a universal but delimiting definition is impossible. In this study, by contrast, it is argued that a conceptual analysis of religion that holds universally is perfectly possible because the following thesis can be seen as a necessary and sufficient conceptual condition of what religion is: (R) X is a religion if and only if X is a collection of artifacts which has the proper function of representing a supraphysical world. On this thesis, it is argued that artifacts such as pictorial and verbal representations, rituals, symbols, and various tools constitute religion as a cultural object, which, as a collection of artifacts, has the proper function of representing a conceived world that is not entirely physical, and which, allegedly, is a prerequisite for existential welfare in relation to observance. It is here important to understand what is constitutive for these kinds of conceived worlds. Supraphysical world is defined as follows. Given that the actual world is a physical world, a conception S is a construction of a supraphysical world if and only if both of the following conditions apply to S: (1) Metaphysical component: S is a duplicate of the actual world with the addition of an anti-physical substance. (2) Existential-normative component: S is an alleged prerequisite for existential welfare in relation to observance. The core argument of the study is that (R) holds a priori for the concept of religion and as an a posteriori necessity for every instance of a religion. Apart from discussing the methodological problems of defining religion, the study introduces a new theory of religion in terms of (R). It addresses also issues in the theory of artifacts; in the theory of representations; and in the theory of conceptual analysis. en
dc.format.extent 243
dc.language.iso eng en
dc.publisher Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University en
dc.subject religion en
dc.subject concept en
dc.subject artifact en
dc.subject physicalism en
dc.subject global supervenience en
dc.subject representations en
dc.subject a priori en
dc.subject.classification Humanities/Social Sciences en
dc.title Artifacts and supraphysical worlds: A conceptual analysis of religion en
dc.type Doctoral Thesis en
dc.identifier.paperprint 0 en
dc.contributor.department Malmö University. Faculty of Culture and Society en_US
dc.contributor.department Malmö University. Global Political Studies (GPS) en_US
dc.subject.srsc Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION en
dc.subject.srsc Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES en
dcterms.type Doctoral Thesis, monograph
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