IN THE STUDY
Jacob K. Olupọna
THE EMINENT HISTORIAN of religion and theologian, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, once stated that scholars interested in the study of non-Christian religions should devote their time and energy entirely to the study of the living world religious traditions (Oriental and Far Eastern religions) such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism; and that the study of primal religions should be shelved, as these traditions have no relevance to contemporary society. 1 Cantwell Smith has been criticized by several of his colleagues, who are equally outstanding scholars of religion.He has since changed his mind and views about the primal traditions. One such critic, the Scandinavian scholar Åke Hulkrantz, remarked that Cantwell Smith's observation unveils the general apathy toward preliterate religion and culture.He aptly observed that this must change.