The Meaning and End of Religion Author:Wilfren Cantwell Smith There are two books that you must read in order to understand the modern study of religions: The Sacred and the Profane by Mircea Eliade and The Meaning and End of Religion by Wilfred Cantwell Smith. It is not that the theories that these two books espouse are universally accepted amongst the scholarly community. In fact, both draw heavy critici... more »sm. However, both are extraordinarily influential on the study itself. They represent the two major schools of thought in the early 20th century: The Chicago style (Eliade) and the Harvard style (Smith).
More specifically, Smith offers a shocking view of studying religion and what religion is in the first place. Whether or not you completely agree with it, Smith will give you quite a bit to think about.« less