The Place of Ethics in Modern Theories of Religion

Robert Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the common assumption that ethics is central to religion, religions have often been classified into those that stress rituals rather than ethics and those that stress ethics rather than rituals. Theories of religion have sometimes accepted this division, but as generalizations about all religions, they have sought uniformities among religions. The divide within theories has been between those theories that deny centrality to ethics in religion and those theories that grant it. This division corresponds, roughly, to that between nineteenth-century theories of religion and twentieth-century theories. To illustrate this division, I compare one representative nineteenth-century theorist, E. B. Tylor, with one twentieth-century one, Sigmund Freud
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalDiskus: The journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR)
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'The Place of Ethics in Modern Theories of Religion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this