A Critical Study Of World Religions By Craig Martin

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In his book, A Critical Introduction to the Study of World Religions, Craig Martin aims to introduce undergraduate students to a socio-functional approach in exposing the methods in which religion disrupts class equality. He succeeds by using intelligible explanations, arguments, and examples to skeptically understand how man is shaped by religion. Martin uses a functionalistic approach to understand the role religion plays in society, exploring each object with hermeneutical suspicion, believing, for the sake of this study, that any supernatural claims are false. By exploring such concepts as classification, structured society, and habitus, Martin explains how “we, as humans, are a product of society”. He focuses on answering questions such as “what’s going on” and “whose interests are served” by skeptically looking at the way in which people use legitimation, authority, and authenticity to push their own agendas. Craig Martin is the Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College. He serves upon the North American Association for the Study of Religion, and is the author of five books that primarily deal with the complex relationship between society and religion and the “religious experience”. Martin begins by demonstrating the difficulty of defining religion, instead opting for a colloquial use. From this base, he moves outward, primarily focusing on the class structure of society, demonstrating how people are formed by insider/outsider

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