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MAPS, GENEALOGY, AND DIFFERENCE: TOWARDS RECOGNITION OF OUR AMBULATORY NATURE

Many disciplines, including Religious Studies, are undergoing a period of lamentation over a perceived slippage in, or fragmentation of, disciplinary identies. Religious meanings are always somebody's meanings and they have the status of meanings precisely because they cannot be rendered less weighty by the counterweight of an other's meaning. In the realm of Religionswissenschaft, this view takes the side of the methodological reductionists in their long debate with the anti-reductionists. The terms "reductionism" and "anti-reductionism" should actually be retired without any loss for the academic study of religion. Strong theorizing is not equivalent with presenting one's theory from behind bullet-proof armor of dogmatism. Monomaniacal theorizing is not the same as an analytical monism that can account for all jots and tittles of "religious" social practice by means of a single analytical category, such as "exchange theory" or "rational choice theory" or "ritual theory" or any other theory.