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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


CLASQUIN-JOHNSON, Michel. How not to become a founding figure. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2021, vol.77, n.2, pp.1-5. ISSN 2072-8050.

The views recently put forward by Fukuyama and Huntington showed that the academic world may once again be ready to think in large patterns of the rise and fall of civilisations. However, long before that, the Buddhologist Trevor Ling put forward a theoretical position regarding the rise and fall of civilisations and the vestigial survival of dead civilisations as 'religions'. More recently, Naomi Goldenberg put forward a superficially similar, but, on deeper inspection, quite a different point of view on the power relationship between state institutions and the 'vestigial states' that contest the state's monopoly on power and are known to us as religions. This article explored the differences and possible synergies between these two standpoints.CONTRIBUTION: This article pleads for much attention to be paid to less well-known theories of religion and demonstrates with reference to the theories of Trevor Ling and Naomi Goldenberg how a virtual conversation between older and more contemporary theorists can open up new theoretical and methodological avenues for understanding religion

Keywords : Trevor Ling; Naomi Goldenberg; religion; civilisation; vestigial state.

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