Research topic: History of religions
The history of religions is comprised partly of the scholarly study of religion and partly of religion itself as a universal phenomenon in human history.
The systematic study of religion has its roots in Greek antiquity, when several philosophers sought to understand religion, in particular the myths, as universal human phenomena. A universal science of history of religions first arose in the 1700s, and developed into an independent academic subject, distinct from theology, in the second half of the 1800s. Afterwards, in the West, a dramatic expansion of the knowledge of the great world religions’ history and doctrines took place, mainly through philological work with the texts associated with these religions
The history of religions views religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon. The purpose of research in the history of religions is to contribute to the understanding and knowledge of what religion means at the level of both the individual and society.
At present, the religious arena is experiencing major, and in some cases dramatic, changes such as fundamentalism and neo-religiosity. Moreover, religious policy – legislation of religious laws, religious voluntary organizations – necessitates a great need for knowledge of the history of religions.