Before Religion A History of a Modern Concept
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Description: For much of the past two centuries, religion has been understood as a universal phenomenon, a part of the “natural” human experience that is essentially the same across cultures and throughout history. Individual religions may vary through time and geographically, but there is an element, religion, that is to be found in all cultures during all time periods. Taking apart this assumption, Brent Nongbri shows that the idea of religion as a sphere of life distinct from politics, economics, or science is a recent development in European history—a development that has been projected outward in space and backward in time with the result that religion now appears to be a natural and necessary part of our world.Examining a wide array of ancient writings, Nongbri demonstrates that in antiquity, there was no conceptual arena that could be designated as “religious” as opposed to “secular.” Surveying representative episodes from a two-thousand-year period, while constantly attending to the concrete social, political, and colonial contexts that shaped relevant works of philosophers, legal theorists, missionaries, and others, Nongbri offers a concise and readable account of the emergence of the concept of religion.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 1/22/2013
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
|What Do We Mean by "Religion"?|
|Lost in Translation: Inserting "Religion" into Ancient Texts|
|Some (Premature) Births of Religion in Antiquity|
|Christians and "Others" in the Premodern Era|
|Renaissance, Reformation, and Religion in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries|
|New Worlds, New Religions, World Religions|
|The Modern Origins of Ancient Religions|
|Conclusion: After Religion?|