The humanistic study of religions: An obscure tradition illuminated by the ‘Knights of Labor’
AbstractToday ‘humanistic’ and ‘humanities’ are terms rarely used in discussions on methodology and epistemology within the study/history of religions. This article laments this state of affair and reminds the readers of same basic advantages of a humanistic study of religions in comparison to chiefly social scientific approaches to religion and culture. After an initial philosophical argument on the implications of ‘humanistic’, the article touches upon the significance of historical failures, utopianism, empathy and ‘the orectic’. These discussions take place against an analysis of the mythology and ritual life of the 19th century, American, socialist order The Knight of Labor.
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