The article discusses the inclusion of postructuralism in the methodology of modern religious studies on the example of works of one of the leading contemporary religious scholars K. von Stuckrad. The works of von Stuckrad from the very beginning was multidisciplinary: he studied shamanism, astrology, Western esotericism, the problem of the relationship of science and religion; he was also aware of modern socio-cultural theories and used the concepts of M. Foucault, R. Rorty, P. Bourdieu, B. Latour, E. Fischer-Lichte, and W.J.T. Mitchell. This methodological openness makes his theory the best illustration of both advantages and disadvantages of interdisciplinary in the study of religion. Stuckrad is one of the few religious scholars, who managed to apply the methodology of discourse analysis in religious studies. Stuckrad went from essentialism of A. Faivre to poststructuralism in the spirit of M. Foucault. The general direction of his latest studies follows the logic of constructionist form of discourse analysis. From the theory of Stuckrad we can deduce the following. The division between the ethical and emic levels of description popular in modern religious studies doesn’t work; the boundaries between scientist and what he studies, between religious studies and religion change constantly. Any scientific study is a process of creation that is studied, the researcher in religious studies creates modern discourse of “religion”, and religious studies are determined by his personal beliefs and worldview. Replacing religion with discourse of “religion”, Stuckrad destroyed the very subject of religious studies.

Key words: history of religious studies, poststructuralism, discourse analysis, esotericism, M. Foucault, shamanism, astrology, science and religion, epistemology

DOI: 1022250/2072-8662.2017.1.80-89

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About the author


Pavel G. Nosachev – PhD (Philosophy), Assistant Professor at School of Cultural Studies, Higher School of Economics;

20 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, Russia, 101000; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.