Kees W. Bolle
“Bolle’s passion for hermeneutics and his conviction that the study of religion becomes really interesting when students confront not only the fascinating data of religion, but also the demanding methodological and epistemological questions of the discipline, make this book an inspiration to read.” —Jess Hollenback, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
In The Enticement of Religion, Kees W. Bolle has written an accessible and informative introduction to the basic facts of religion and to the ways scholars and other people have dealt with religion over the centuries. Bolle’s central purpose is to provide a serious, in-depth study that will introduce students and other general readers to religion and religious events in the world.
Part 1 of the book focuses on the facts of religion, and covers such topics as the object and task of the historian of religions, the correct usage of words like “faith” and “tradition,” modes of religious expression, and the social and political impact of religion. Bolle raises basic, yet not often discussed, questions such as “What is Religion?” and “What are the Religions of the World?” The second part of the book provides a historical survey of Western intellectual approaches to religion. Starting with the Greeks and progressing all the way to the twentieth century, Bolle explores how writers and scholars such as David Hume, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Joseph Conrad, Charles Péguy, and many others have influenced our judgments on religion.
“_The Enticement of Religion_ is the product of Kees Bolle’s lifelong quest for understanding of religion. As a sustained essay on hermeneutics (he prefers ‘epistemology’), it is, indeed, an enticing alternative to the post-modernist studies in critical discourse so pervasive in today’s intellectual world—a refreshingly innovative approach free of subservience to current fashion.” —William W. Malandra, University of Minnesota
“This book will serve well undergraduate majors in religious studies, students commencing graduate study in the field, and anyone interested in religion and religions who wishes to be introduced to the major issues, problems, and thinkers emergent in the context of western intellectual history. Bolle’s probings are worthy of the careful attention of all who are open to being seriously engaged in the data of religions.” —Stanley Lusby, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
“Aptly titled, this is a scintillating and intellectually satisfying survey of centuries of serious religious study focusing less on the specifics of different traditions than on the question why we worship. Drawing on the varied disciplines of philosophy, theology, anthropology, and history and the expertise of past masters of the history of religion—Ibn Khaldun, Max Müller, G. van der Leeuw, Raffaele Pettazzoni, Mircea Eliade, and countless others—Bolle is eager to provide a hermeneutics for the 21st century, offering an updated explanation and understanding of what religion is and why we should know about it. Bolle covers both Eastern and Western traditions, and because his first rule is that ‘you should listen to the people whose religion you try to comprehend,’ readers cannot help but to have their view of religions deepened and broadened. Extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter will fuel interest and authoritatively guide librarians seeking to build their own collections. Recommended for all academic libraries and large public libraries.” — Library Journal
“Writing with a minimum amount of technical jargon, Bolle provides an accessible study of the data and questions about religion found in every human civilization. This book will interest all who are concerned about the place of religious life and thought in the modern world. Recommended. All Levels.” — Choice
“Bolle, with training and a long history of teaching and publication in the history of religions, has written an accessible overview to the subject. Bolle goes beyond introducing the major thinkers and their ideas to locating them in their broader socio-cultural contexts and illuminating their contributions biographically. . . . [I]nteresting and enlivening. . . .” — Religious Studies Review