Readings on the history of ‘religion’ as an analytic category

There’s a thesis building steam of late that our notion of ‘religion’ is in need of some rinsing in historicist acids. What I have in mind here is not to be confused with anti-realist claims to the effect that, say, God is nothing more than a social construction. Rather, the thought goes that it’s about time we begin to question the supposition that the term ‘religion’ identifies a valid genus which can count among its species the likes of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. ‘Religion,’ too, that is, like so many other categories basic to modern Western societies, we should by now not be surprised to learn, has a history. The term has not always labeled what it labels today, raising the question of whether the realities so depicted are best served under this description. Again, we’re not talking here about the contents of particular religions, but merely the reigning categorial apparatus scholars use to specify a possible object of study. If this is sounding like a thesis that may be of any interest, you can follow it up — in various permutations — in works like the following:

(For Extra Credit): Selected theological approaches to the category ‘Religion’

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