Louis Dumont was a prominent anthropologist and sociologist whose work – notably on Indian society – influenced the study of religion. Dumont on Religion introduces Dumont’s work on kinship studies, structural theory, and his views on idealism. Subjects of particular interest to students of religion are highlighted, including Dumont’s concepts of the sacred and profane, pure and impure, transcendence, values and hierarchy. The book also presents the ethical implications of Dumont’s ideas and his comparison between the world views of modern and traditional societies.
"This is a book that is urgently engaged in rethinking Dumont in relation to various contemporary debates. [It] will serve as an excellent meditation on the themes of structuralist social analysis, hierarchy, individualism and pluralism." – Jessica Frazier, Reviews in Religion and Theology
From a review of three titles in the series: "In their critical exposition, Tremlett, Strenski and McCance guide their readers to pursue further research, suggesting links to other sources. Although suggested for reading at the introductory graduate and undergraduate levels, the ideas and sources included in these volumes warrant a broader readership. Readers in religion, philosophy, anthropology, ethnology and history will find well-documented profiles of the life and work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Louis Dumont and Jacques Derrida." – Jennifer Davis, Implicit Religion
1. What Can We Learn from Louis Dumont?
2. A Contrarian’s Most Contrarian Notion: Dumont on Hierarchy Chapter
3. Our Individualism and Its Religious Origins Chapter
4. The Comparative Risks of Comparison: On Not “Remaining Caged within Our Own Frame of Reference”
5. Conclusion: Dumont’s Morality and Social Cosmology
About the Author:
Ivan Strenski is Professor and Holstein Endowed Chairholder in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside.