Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

H. Patrick Sullivan

Second Advisor

W. Taylor Stevenson

Third Advisor

William Sullivan


In the interest of clarity concerning not only the nature and purpose of our inquiry, but also its concrete procedure, we wish to make a number of methodological remarks. First, the nature of our inquiry demands, we believe, an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, methodologically, we have selected three contemporary religious scholars who represent, at least minimally, the three basic dimensions of the study of religion which we have previously mentioned: philosophy of religion, history and phenomenology of religions, Christian systematic theology. We have selected, out of the possible field of numerous worthy scholars, three men who represent, respectively, Religionswissenschaft, Protestant systematic theology, and Catholic systematic theology. More specifically, we have selected three men who represent those three disciplines in a unique way. Joachim Wach, our representative of Religionswissenschaft, is noted for his work in the analysis of the methodological principles (especially hermeneutics) of the study of the phenomena and history of religions, his concrete comparative studies of major religions, his sociology of religion, and his keen consciousness of the need for a more explicit and concrete correlation of Religionswissenschaft and Christian theology.



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