Robin Horton's critical and creative writings on African religious thought have influenced anthropologists, philosophers, and all those interested in the comparative study of religion and thought. This selection of some of his classic papers, with a new introduction and postscript by the author, traces Horton's theoretical ideas over thirty years. In attempting to understand African religious thought, he also tackles broader issues in the history and sociology of thought, such as secularisation and modernisation. Part I is a critical assessment of two established interpretive approaches, the Symbolist and the Theological. Part II proposes an alternative 'Intellectualist' approach that emphasises the structural and processual similarities between religious and scientific thinking. The postscript appraises the Intellectualist approach in the light of theorising about religion and world views.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 (18)
BEGINNINGS 19 (34)
1. A definition of religion, and its uses 19 (34)
MAINLY CRITICAL 53 (144)
2. Neo-Tylorianism: sound sense or sinister 53 (10)
3. Levy-Bruhl, Durkheim and the Scientific 63 (42)
4. Back to Frazer? 105(33)
5. Professor Winch on safari 138(23)
6. Judaeo-Christian spectacles: boon or bane 161(36)
to the study of African religions?
MAINLY CONSTRUCTIVE 197(50)
7. African traditional thought and Western 197(62)
8. Paradox and explanation: a reply to Mr 259(42)
9. Tradition and modernity revisited 301(46)