By “religion” Loisy means….

LoisyI have completed (more or less)  my paper for the upcoming conference at Baylor. To spill the beans a little early, it appears that, in the works I examined prior to his excommunication in 1908, Loisy uses “religion” in a fairly unexceptional way, the way most of us use it today. There are some exceptions to this, but in general, his use of “religion” is that of a generic category, which includes such instantiations as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. What is significant, is the broader history of this term; “religion” has not always been used this way. The work of scholars like Talal Asad (e.g., Genealogies of Religion), William Cavanaugh (e.g., The Myth of Religious Violence), and Ernst Feil (especially his 4 volume Religio) are important contributions to the history of the development of the understanding of religion. More to come.

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