Revival: The Return of the Primitive (2001): A New Sociological Theory of Religion by Professor Richard K. Fenn
This title was first published in 2001. This work presents a sociological theory of religion. Richard K. Fenn demonstrates that the shape of the sacred depends on what aspects of the psyche and of the environment seem to be beyond the pale of the human and the social, that is, the primitive. Whatever is anti-social or subhuman, and whatever subverts the reign of convention, or whatever defies notions of reason, represents the primitive. Indeed, the primitive represents the range of possibilities that excluded us from any society or social system. That is why hell is so often populated by those who are partly bestial, or crooked and corrupting. If there is to be a renewal of Christian thinking and aspiration in our time, it has to come from a rediscovery of the dream: not only in the metaphorical sense of a vision, perhaps of racial equality, but in the quite literal sense of the individual's own reservoir of suppressed and unconscious memories and yearnings, magical thinking and wounded or grandiose self-imagery.