Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Society, Religion, History

Well, as this is an introductory post I suppose it would do for me to lay out a few aims for this blog. This is intended to be the intellectual dumping ground for my thoughts on religion, atheism, and the historical relationship between the two. I'm an atheist who has seen the recent resurgence of atheist writing in the fields of philosophy, biology, and in popular press and books as a breath of much needed fresh air.

I work in the social sciences, and there the retreat from meaningful critique of religion in the last few decades is palpable. The realm of "sociology of religion", in particular, has become a sanctuary for theologians who mostly seem to want to cover up religion's historical existence as a series of institutionalized patterns of thought that have had real, and usually terrible, consequences. This is all the more pathetic when we think back on the "founders" of modern social science; Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. They all advanced damning criticism of religion both as an epistemology and as an historical entity, and all from three widely differing viewpoints.

So I hope to use this blog as a place to recapture that original critical stance that has been largely lost when the social sciences analyze religion. That being said, I don't intend for anything I post here to approach any level of "academic rigor." I'm using this more or less as a public arena to do some brainstorming and set down any idea I think might be useful. Comments are always welcome, if anyone happens to stumble in here!

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