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Elements of the Science of Religion

University of Edinburgh

Elements of Science of Religion: Morphological provides Tiele’s definition of religion and establishes a philosophical framework for the study of religion as a scientific discipline. Religion is defined not as the outward expressions of forms and rituals but as the internalized beliefs in the ‘superhuman’ which motivate a response. The work also charts the progression of religion and argues that is always multiplying in its diversities while simultaneously experiencing constant simplification.

In his second series of lectures, entitled Ontological, Tiele focuses on the permanent elements present in all religions. Outward ‘manifestations’ are explainable through psychological interpretations, but the underlying ‘constituents’ are the result of internalized experiences of the superhuman. Religion is the result of an inherent belief in the infinite and the outward expression of the emotional experience elicited in that encounter.


Elements of the Science of Religion, Part I: Morphological

Charles Scribner's Sons

Elements of the Science of Religion, Part II: Ontological

Charles Scribner's Sons
  • R. Scott Spurlock, University of Edinburgh