A Conversation between Andrew Durdin and Brent Nongbri on Brent Nongbri's Before Religion
This conversation emerged from remarks given at a 2014 AAR/SBL panel dedicated to exploring Brent Nongbri's Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept.
Andrew Durdin's paper, rather than offer a full review of Nongbri's engaging text, attempts to converse with, test, and offer constructive criticism of certain aspects of Nongbri's considerations, most generally the viability of "religion" as a category useful for understanding the ancient Roman world. It specifically focuses on his conception of "prematurity" in Chapter 3.
Brent Nongbri's response to Andrew Durdin offers a critical rejoinder to Durdin's assertion of the need for a second order category like "religion" and the potential issues with how such a category might be used in the academic study of the ancient Western world.
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