“Religion” and “Science” within a Global Religious History

In: Aries
Michael Bergunder Heidelberg University

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The paper argues that the final forging of our current understanding of “religion” and “esotericism” did not take place before the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and that it was a global endeavor right from the beginning. Previous research has not fully appreciated the new situation that arose because of scientific materialism and the challenge presented by conceptions of a general religious history. By focusing on the relationship of “religion” and “science” within a global religious history (globale Religionsgeschichte) from the late nineteenth century till today, the paper shows how “religion” and “esotericism” can be understood as constitutive parts of the same global history.

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