The Return of the Primitive: A New Sociological Theory of Religion (Theology and Religion in Interdisciplinary Perspective) (Theology and Religion in Interdisciplinary Perspective)
- Publish Date: 2001-09-13
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Richard K. Fenn
This work presents a sociological theory of religion. Richard K. Fenn demonstrates that the shape of the sacred depends on what aspects of the psyche and of the environment seem to be beyond the pale of the human and the social, that is, the primitive. Whatever is anti-social or subhuman, and whatever subverts the reign of convention, or whatever defies notions of reason, represents the primitive. Indeed, the primitive represents the range of possibilities that excluded us from any society or social system. That is why hell, as the author shows in this book, is so often populated by those who are partly bestial, or crooked and corrupting. If there is to be a renewal of Christian thinking and aspiration in our time, the author argues, it has to come from a rediscovery of the dream: not only in the metaphorical sense of a vision, perhaps of racial equality, but in the quite literal sense of the individual's own reservoir of suppressed and unconscious memories and yearnings, magical thinking and wounded or grandiose self-imagery.