The introduction explains the objectives of the present book and summarizes its major arguments. Comparison has been conducted in religious studies since the early days of the discipline, and scholars have often reflected upon its problems and merits. But very few bridged the gap between actual comparative work and theoretical reflection. Against the backdrop of recent substantial criticism of the comparative method, this book holds that comparison is indispensable for the study of religion and that the comparative method can be described and analyzed more comprehensively than in past scholarship. This introduction outlines the problem and the book’s argument and provides short summaries of the subsequent chapters.
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