Religion Past and Present

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(359 words)

[German Version]

The terms pseudo-religion (from Gk pseúdos, “lie, falsehood”) and ersatz religion are used colloquially – and unfortunately sometimes in scholarly writing – for two different social phenomena, without clear distinction: (a) constructs for which their adherents claim a religious quality, while churches and critics dispute these claims (e.g. some of the so-called new religious movements); and (b) constructs such as sporting events, certain political events, concerts, and shows to which a reli…

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Zinser, Hartmut, “Pseudo-Religions”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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