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Disenchanting IndiaOrganized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India$
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Johannes Quack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812608.001.0001

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Modes of (Non-)Religiosity and Unbelief

Modes of (Non-)Religiosity and Unbelief

2 (p.19) Modes of (Non-)Religiosity and Unbelief
Disenchanting India

Johannes Quack

Oxford University Press

This theoretical chapter builds upon the argument of Ulrich Berner that it is often more fruitful to heuristically structure religious fields not just along the lines of religion, but by distinguishing different “modes of religiosity”. It is argued that despite the important criticism against the concept of “belief,” as for example outlined by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, the notion “modes of unbelief” helps to not just capture the distinguishing characteristics of the Indian rationalists. It also provides the basis on which to conceptualize similarities and differences between specific modes of religiosity and unbelief, undermining thereby, the opposition between religion and atheism, as well as religiosity and unbelief.

Keywords:   religion, religiosity, belief, unbelief, Ulrich Berner, Wilfred Cantwell Smith

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