Anidjar, “Christianity, Christianities, Christian”

Anidjar, Gil.  2015. Christianity, Christianities, Christian.  Religious and Political Practice 1(1): 39-46.

Abstract: The relation between the concept of religion and its Christian determinations has surely become increasingly visible. In the study of religion, Christianity (vera religio, western Christendom) has served as a paradigmatic occasion, a prime focus, of constant research and investigation. Its history and transformations have rightly been studied in a plethora of ways and approaches. Throughout, the question of Christianity – if there is one – lingers as a question of religion. Everything is therefore as though the interrogation of the concept of religion does not unsettle our understanding of Christianity as a religion. A strange essentialism. For what if Christianity were not a religion? Not exclusively so? What if, for two thousand years, it had been more than a religion? Or something else altogether? What if it became a religion (in the restricted, modern sense) only latterly? Having learned what we can from and about the concept of religion – its novelty, its questionable disappearance, its containment – should we not reconsider what we mean by Christianity?