Philosophical concepts are influential in the theories and methods to study the world religions. Even though the disciplines of anthropology and religious studies now encompass communities and cultures across the world, the theories and methods used to study world religions and cultures continue to be rooted in Western philosophies. For instance, one of the most widely used textbooks used in introductory courses on religious studies, introduces major theoreticians such as Edward Burnett Tylor, James Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Mircea Eliade, William James, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, and Clifford Geertz. Their theories are based on Western philosophy. In contrast, in Indic philosophical systems, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, one of the common views on reality is that the world both within one self and outside is a flow with nothing permanent, both the observer and the observed undergoing constant transformation. This volume is based on such innovative ideas coming from different Indic philosophies and how they can enrich the theory and methods in religious studies.
Pankaj Jain is professor of philosophy and religious studies at FLAME University
Jeffrey D. Long is the Carl W. Zeigler Professor of Religion, Philosophy, and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College
Part I. Epistemological Encounters: East and West
Part II. Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Theories for Religion