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Religion as an object of anthropological study

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  1. How to describe Religion?
  2. The importance of symbols in Geertz's theory

This article is based on the articles of the Clifford Geertz Religion as a cultural system and the article of T. Asad: The construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category. In Religion as a cultural system T. Asad 's opposition to C.Geert's theory underlines the difficulty in finding precise foundations of an anthropological study of religion. In this essay we will try to study some of the main debates raised by the opposition between those two anthropological visions of religion. To begin, Religion can be described on three scales. On a universal scale the problem would be to know if Religion is a phenomenon in itself which can be considered as universal. Can we find the essence of a religion as a single phenomenon and if yes what could be that essence? Religion also has a role on the scale of a society. What are the links between religion and the other sides of a society (politics, science, power, state)? What is the meaning of Religion and how can we study this phenomenon in different societies?

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