The First Conferences on the History of Religions | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 72, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



The present article sketches the emergence of the scholarly conferences on the history of religion at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. The focus is in particular on the ‘First International Congress on the History of Religions’ (Paris 1900) and the much smaller Leiden conference of 1912. By comparing these with one of the most famous conferences on religion in history – the organized in the context of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago – it is shown how the early historians of religion defined themselves as over against those interested in religious dialogue and theology. Special attention is paid to the fact that some of these conferences were part of world exhibitions, which themselves had a distinct religious dimension.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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