Religion, when contemplated and studied as a phenomenon in itself, holds important implications for both the science of religion and theology. For the science of religion there is no more cardinal question than that of the essence, nature and function of religion for it has a bearing on both the content and the methodology of the subject. In the study of theology, the question of the nature and identity of theology as such cannot be resolved without due attention being paid to the phenomenon of religion. In the past, the problems entailed by this question
were either not perceived, or else avoided. Such an attitude, if pursued today, would only be to our own detriment. It follows that this matter is also of importance for the relationship between the science of religion and theology. The question is whether the phenomenon is amenable to both approaches. Moot points such as these
compel both disciplines to pay due attention to the phenomenon of religion. It is to be hoped that attempts to do so will not be made in isolation.