Religion, Models Of, And Reality: Are We Through With Geertz?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kevin Schilbrack Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chair (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Clifford Geertz's influential definition of religions as providing their members with both an ethos and a worldview—in his terms, both a "model for" and "model of" reality—has of late become a neuralgic point of contention in religious studies. In particular some critics have seen his ideas of religious models of reality as biased, out-moded, or in other ways confused about the way that language refers (or does not refer) to the world. In this article, I consider two criticisms of Geertz's project and seek to show that, despite the partial value of the criticisms, the idea of religious models of reality continues to be a legitimate and fruitful approach to what religious communities are typically up to.

Additional Information

Schilbrack, Kevin. 2005. "Religion, models of, and reality: are we through with Geertz?" Journal Of The American Academy Of Religion 73, no. 2: 429-452. The version of record is available from Oxford University Press at
Language: English
Date: 2005

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