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Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Yale Univ Pr
Publication date September 29, 2015
Pages 275
Binding Paperback
Edition Reprint
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780300216783
ISBN-10 0300216785
Dimensions 1 by 5 by 7 in.
Weight 1 lbs.
Original list price $25.00
Other format details university press
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description:

A fascinating exploration of religion as an invention of the modern world

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.



Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780300154160
 
from Yale Univ Pr (January 22, 2013)
9780300154160 | details & prices | 275 pages | 5.75 × 8.50 × 1.00 in. | 1.00 lbs | List price $40.00
Paperback
Book cover for 9780300216783
 
The price comparison is for this edition
Reprint edition from Yale Univ Pr (September 29, 2015)
9780300216783 | details & prices | 275 pages | 5.00 × 7.00 × 1.00 in. | 1.00 lbs | List price $25.00
About: A fascinating exploration of religion as an invention of the modern world 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.

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