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Jesper Sørensen

Gerardus van der Leeuw: Et forstudie til en kognitiv revurdering af mana

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This article has a double focus. First, and in line with the special theme of this issue, it will address and discuss the celebrated, later rebuked and finally almost forgotten 'hero' from our discipline's historical cabinet of curiosity, the Dutch phenomenologist of religion and theologian, Gerardus van der Leeuw (1890-1950). Van der Leeuw's work had its primary impact in the first part of the 20th century, but came to play a special role in Denmark when his Einführung in die Phänomenologie der Religion as published in Danish in 1969 - a book which influenced a whole generation of Danish high school teachers. Second, taking my departure from van der Leeuws emphasis, I reevaluate the concept of mana in order to explore its relevance in the contemporary, academic study of religion. My point of departure is, that we need a concept covering broad notions of force. Further I argue that a rejuvenated notion of mana should build upon results from the cognitive sciences regarding causal representation as well as from the notion of force-dynamic representations argued in cognitive linguistics. Finally, in a more speculative manner, I shall present a number of hypotheses concerning the relation between social organization and mana and argue that this relation can be understood as a driving factor in a general history of religion.

Original languageDanish
JournalReligionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift
Pages (from-to)44-66
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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