Religious Diversity: What or How? Towards a Praxeology of Early Modern Religious Ordering

Iryna Klymenko

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 13 Issue 2 (2024):287-305 DOI 10.38145/2024.2.287

Scholars of the pre-modern history of religion have increasingly sought to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of religious diversity. Building on these advancements, this paper argues that our comprehension of this phenomenon is intricately linked to our presuppositions regarding religious groups and their boundaries. By challenging the conventional notion of groups as closed, authentic, and consistently coherent collectives, it advocates for a praxeological approach. Drawing on sociological theories and microhistorical studies, with a particular focus on early modern sources related to Jewish communities, it proposes a transition from inquiries about “what” the groups are to an examination of “how” they have been constructed in both temporal and spatial dimensions. Thus, by viewing religious groups and their ordering as dynamic and process-related, this approach aims to deepen our understanding of religious diversity in the early modern era as an analytical and empirical category.

Keywords: early modern history, religious diversity, praxeology

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