The academic study of Indigenous Religions developed historically from missiological and anthropological sources, but little analysis has been devoted to this classification within departments of religious studies. Evaluating this assumption in the light of case studies drawn from Zimbabwe, Alaska and shamanic traditions, and in view of current debates over 'primitivism', James Cox mounts a defence for the scholarly use of the category 'Indigenous Religions'.
About the Author
James L. Cox is Professor of Religious Studies in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: problems, research context and overview; The academic study of indigenous religions: underlying assumptions and historical developments; Essentialism and the world religions paradigm; Defining 'indigenous' scientifically; Towards a socio-cultural, non-essentialist interpretation of religion; The Yupiit of Alaska: the 'real people'; The adaptive nature of indigenous religions in Zimbabwe; Indigenous religions and the debate over primitivism; Afterword: a practical conclusion; Bibliography; Index.