What’s in a (Change of) Name? Much—but Not That Much—and Not What Wiebe Claims

Tim Jensen, Satoko Fujiwara

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Donald Wiebe claims that the IAHR leadership (already before an Extended Executive Committee (EEC) meeting in Delphi) had decided to water down the academic stan- dards of the IAHR with a proposal to change its name to “International Association for the Study of Religions.” His criticism, we argue, is based on a series of misunder- standings as regards: 1) the difference between the consultative body (EEC) and the decision-making body (EC), 2) the difference between the preliminary points of view of individuals and final proposals by the EC, 3) personal conversations, 4) the link between the proposal to change the name and the wish to tighten up the academic profile of the IAHR. Moreover, if the final decision-making bodies, the International Committee and the General Assembly, adopt the proposal, the new name as little as the old can make the IAHR more or less scientific. Tightening up the academic, scien- tific profile of the IAHR takes more than a change of name.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMethod & Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)159-184
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • EASR
  • IAHR
  • International Association for the History of Religions
  • Marburg
  • Religionswissenschaft
  • Zwi Werblowsky
  • globalization
  • scientific study of religion
  • study of religions

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