Religion Past and Present

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(775 words)

[German Version]


Following a standard definition by J. Schumpeter, the term “imperialism” (from Lat. imperium, “dominion,” “empire”) refers in general to “the objectless disposition of a state to engage in violent expansion without ascertainable limits” (see II below). In this sense, one may always speak of imperialism when a state configures its relations to other states or societies in terms of the continuing expansion of its territorial dominion without restrictions of time or purpose.

This general definition contrasts with a narrower conc…

Cite this page
Kracht, Klaus Große, “Imperialism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 July 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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