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Daemons Are ForeverContacts and Exchanges in the Eurasian Pandemonium$
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David Gordon White

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226692401

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226715063.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Imagining a Connected History of Religions

Imagining a Connected History of Religions

(p.206) 7 Imagining a Connected History of Religions
Daemons Are Forever

David Gordon White

University of Chicago Press

This concluding chapter returns to the themes adumbrated in chapter one, highlighting examples from chapters two through six to reaffirm the book’s principal arguments: that vernacular religion (often the purview of women) always precedes, subverts, and overflows the boundaries and claims of male-dominated official religion; and that a connected histories approach to religious phenomena is preferable to that of the comparative historian. The chapter concludes by cautioning against the tendency on the part of humanities scholars to seek to emulate the methodological rigor and non-falsifiability claims of the so-called exact sciences. Like theoretical physicists sifting through traces left by the collisions of subatomic particles to make sense of the universe, historians attempt to make sense of the past by reading the traces left by the words and deeds of countless human actors lost to memory; and like theoretic physicists, historians cannot do better than to rely on the most powerful tools they have at their disposal to decipher those traces: their imaginations.

Keywords:   official religion, vernacular religion, women in religion, methodology, connected histories, comparative history, humanities, theoretical physics, imagination

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