Grounding My Theory…in Theory

by P. Braithwaite

Great ideas are awesome, but they aren’t created in a vacuum. For those of you that are new, I’ve got this theory that how men view God dictates how they handle romantic relationships. While this idea has fueled me for a few years (I’ve done some interviews and I’ve been working on a book), It’s become obvious that I have to see what the great thinkers have said about GOD and religion.

I’m not sure if the academic stuff will actually make it into my book (I don’t plan to write a book where I have to say things like, “According to Freud”), but it’s good to know what others have pondered. Am I treading new territory or am I simply regurgitating a theory that someone else has explored?

What have I learned so far: I’m reading this book called 8 Theories of Religion by Daniel Pals. I’m not very far along, but so far I’ve learned that the objective scientific exploration of religion is not a new thing.

Now, I should pause to say – I’m not writing a scientific exploration of religion. I’m writing a memoir, which while honest isn’t exactly objective. However, my inquiries and any results/conclusions that I attempt to draw do come from a place free of religious bias. I’m not setting out to prove that all religious guys are great lovers.

So anyway, this idea of fair and objective religious research isn’t new. Around the late 1800’s Freidrich Muller, a German scholar and devout Christian, thought that one could pursue the serious study of religion. This meant that one could trace the origins of religion in a straight-forward and scientific way to get at the truth of the matter.   He was having these thoughts as Christianity was being challenged by Protestants and Deists, so he felt that if he could find the root cause of religion, through serious scientific inquiry, he’d be able to uncover the true majesty of his religion.

And here we are in 2011 having the same fights, wars, and heated conversations about religion and God.  I can’t wait to delve into the various theories. Apparently Freud compares religion to neurosis.