The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems – both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their differentiation from, and intersection with, other cultural systems, such as art, economy, law and politics. Due attention is given to paradigmatic case or comparative studies that exhibit a clear theoretical orientation with the empirical and historical data of religion and such aspects of religion as ritual, the religious imagination, constructions of tradition, iconography, or media. In addition, the formation of religious communities, their construction of identity, and their relation to society and the wider public are key issues of this series.
Over the course of his career, Luther H. Martin has experimented with methodological approaches to the study of religion, particularly Hellenistic religions. This volume represents Martin’s shift from comparative to socio-political to scientific studies of religion, and especially to the cognitive science of religion. The 25 contributions collected here, selected from over 100 essays, are representative of his work over the past two decades.
Over the course of his career, Luther H. Martin has primarily produced articles rather than monographs. This approach to publication has given him the opportunity to experiment with different methodological approaches to an academic study of religion, with updates to and different interpretations of his field of historical specialization, namely Hellenistic religions, the subject of his only monograph (1987). The contents of this collected volume represent Martin's shift from comparative studies, to socio-political studies, to scientific studies of religion, and especially to the cognitive science of religion. He currently considers the latter to be the most viable approach for a scientific study of religion within the academic context of a modern research university. The twenty-five contributions collected in this volume are selected from over one hundred essays, articles, and book chapters published over a long and industrious career and are representative of Martin's work over the past two decades.