241 REPLY TO EBERSOLE Gary Ebersole lodges two objections to my article "How Historical is the History of Religions?" He objects, first, to posthumous attacks on Mircea Eliade. He objects, second and more important, to the assumption that all other persons in religious studies, for whom I use the innocent term "religionists," dogmatically heed Eliade's views of religion. I will respond to these points in turn. First, my criticisms of Eliade, here and in other articles, are not of the man but of his views. In other academic fields-notably, philosophy-even the severest criticism presupposes respect: one simply ignores views not to be taken seriously. Moreover, one does not have to be a Popperian to grant that a field advances more by criticism than by praise. Lamentably, one symptomatic difference between religious studies and philosophy is that religious studies journals are stuffed with praise where philosophy journals overflow with criticism. Where philosophers argue, religionists empathize. One of the merits of MTSR is its encouragement of the very exchange in which Professors Ebersole, McMullin, and I are here participating. How many other religious studies journals provide a forum for debate? While Eliade is undeniably unavailable to respond to my article,
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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