The Newsletter 54 Summer 2010

The value of comparison

Peter van der Veer

To understand the connections between religion, power, and identity one needs a comparative framework. With the rise of world history and the shifting of the balance between Asia and the West increasing attempts at comparative case studies are perhaps inevitable. While there is some comparative work on Japan and the West by Weberian sociologists, like Robert Bellah and Shmuel Eisenstadt, there is little comparative work within Asia. Peter van der Veer, who recently published with Stephan Feuchtwang on the comparative sociology of India and China, believes this is changing.

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