THERE – Theory and Empiricism of Religious Evolution: Foundation of a Research Program

5. Communication-Theoretical Foundation of Systems Theory and the Theory of Evolution

Cf., for example, Robert Campany (2003, 319): “Religions do not exist, at least not in the same way that people and their textual and visual artifacts and performances do. And when religions are metaphorically imagined as doing things, it becomes harder to see the agents who really and non-metaphorically do things: people.” Accordingly, Steffen Führding Führding (2015, 12–13), partially referring to Peter Antes (1979) and Manfred Hutter (2003), talks about “an extensive consent of […] that post-phenomenological science of religion is an empirical and humanistic discipline [humanwissenschaftliche Disziplin].” The reference to empiricism should be natural, but it remains unclear to me what a “humanistic [humanwissenschaftlicher]” starting point should be, and why “people” are “real” and “non-metaphorical”. Whereas I share the presumption of Wolfgang Gantke (2015, 39): “Perhaps a new openness is then only reachable for the phenomenon of the holy if the still prevailing ‘human-egoistic anthropocentricism’ is overcome beforehand.” However, this view does not necessarily require a revitalization of the phenomenology of religion, as is the case in Gantkes argument. From the perspective of the sociologically oriented study of religion, the holy is the result of a communicative attribution and therefore a genuine socio-cultural issue (Schlette 2009).

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