These two volumes present Pye's methodological, theoretical, and field-based interests in the study of religions. Pye understands the study of religions to be an international enterprise with roots in both European and East Asian culture. This relates to his active role in the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), as a former General Secretary and President. The work is presented in seven sections, which could be used in teaching assignments. The first volume begins with a lively introduction on "Methodological Strategies," followed by "East Asian Starting Points," a radical attempt to overcome Eurocentrism, and "Structures and Strategies," which tackles globally significant institutional and ideological questions. The second volume presents selected strands in the study of religions. "Comparing and Contrasting" is followed by "Tradition and Innovation," including reference to specific new religions. "Transplantation and Syncretism" is a definitive package on syncretism and includes new materials from South-East Asia. Finally, "Contextual Questions" explores wider themes of identity, plurality, dialogue of religions, religious education, and peace. These show how relevant the study of religions can be -when it is distinctly and responsibly defined.
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Michael Pye, University of Marburg, Germany.
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