Religion Is a Social Science. Should It Be Studied Like One?

While devotees of various faiths sometimes believe their religion was handed down whole cloth sometime during the Axial Age — or slightly earlier, as in Judaism, or later, as in Islam — we’d better be able to wrap our heads around religion if we treated it as a social science. At heart, that’s the function religion plays: a consensus of beliefs regarding that community’s relationship to its place and time.

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