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Friedrich Max Müller and the Sacred Books of the East$
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Arie L. Molendijk

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198784234

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784234.001.0001

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Intellectual Impact

Intellectual Impact

(p.162) 6 Intellectual Impact
Friedrich Max Müller and the Sacred Books of the East

Arie L. Molendijk

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 6, ‘Intellectual Impact’, the edition of the Sacred Books of the East is compared with other contemporary grand editorial projects, such as the Oxford English Dictionary and the Migne edition of the church fathers. Can the series be seen as a token of the founding of ‘big science’ around 1900? Did it define a new approach to the study of religion? Did the series contribute to the emergence of a new discourse of ‘world religions’ and ‘comparative religion’? It is argued that the series is a monument in the history of the comparative study of religion. The edition of the Sacred Books of the East is the powerful expression of the wish to gather the main religions of the world under one umbrella—in one prestigious and costly edition.

Keywords:   big science, Adolf Harnack, religion as text (textualization), world religions, comparison, orientalism

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