Combining Approaches from Religious and Cultural Studies and the Sciences

Structural sciences (German: Strukturwissenschaften) are characterized by referring both to physical, chemical, and organic as well as mental, cultural, and social facts. Therefore, analogies can be drawn between material, organic, mental, and cultural processes. Inasmuch as structural sciences are geared to language and script, they contribute to a “de-materialization” of the natural sciences, at the same time bridging the gap to the humanities („in zunehmendem Maße zu einer ‚Entmaterialisierung‘ der Naturwissenschaften bei, wodurch wiederum enge Brückenschläge zu den Geisteswissenschaften möglich werden“, Küppers 1996: 197). On the other hand, religious studies’ recent attention to natural science approaches follows the material turn (Morgan 2010; Houtman/Meyer 2012) by moving media of religion into the research focus (Hoover 2006) without merging religion as system of meaning entirely with media and materiality.