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Weber and Geertz on the meaning of religion.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Robert A. Segal
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/1999
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)61-71
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Clifford Geertz often cites Max Weber as the pioneering ‘interpretive’ social scientist. But the approaches of Weber and Geertz to interpretation differ sharply. Both associate interpretation with meaning, but they diverge on the nature of meaning, on the relationship between meaning and cause, and on the consequent relationship between interpretation and explanation. While both use ‘meaning’ not only asintentbut also as significance, ormeaningfulness, they diverge on the origin of meaningfulness, on the form meaningfulness takes and on the threats to meaningfulness.