Vierter Band: Die Geschichte eines neuzeitlichen Grundbegriffs im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert
(Volume 4: The History of a Modern Idea Born in the 18th and Early 19th Century)
2. Edition 2012
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte -
The focal point of the 4th and final volume on the concept of religion is the dramatic change in meaning this term experienced from ancient Christian times to our modern day. From its original meaning as a "way of honoring God," Ernst Feil pins down the transformation in meaning to Johann Christian Edelmann in the mid-1800s, who spoke of "religio" as the "union" with God and strictly delineated it from "belief." From this concept it was not a big jump to the interpretations of Schleiermacher and Goethe of religion as a "feeling." Since that time many different attempts have been made to determine what the term "religion" truly means.