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Before ReligionA History of a Modern Concept$
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Brent Nongbri

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300154160

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300154160.001.0001

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New Worlds, New Religions, World Religions

New Worlds, New Religions, World Religions

(p.106) Six New Worlds, New Religions, World Religions
Before Religion

Brent Nongbri

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the development of the concept of religion from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century by focusing on various ways that colonial interactions helped generate what is now known as religions in Africa, India, and Japan. It argues that these three examples perfectly illustrate the different aspects of the complex interactions between European academics and the indigenous people of these areas that were decisive in the formation of religions and in the sharpening of the generic concept of religion. It adds that it was not only academics and indigenous peoples who participated in this particular creation of religions; but also the sailors who helped in propagating the gospel across the oceans.

Keywords:   religions, academics, India, Japan, Africa, colonial interactions, sailors, gospel, indigenous people

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