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The origin of the modern perception of religion can be traced to the Enlightenment. This book shows how the concepts of "religion" and "the religions" arose from controversies in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. The birth of "the religions," conceived of as sets of beliefs and practices, created a new science of religion in which the various "religions" could be studied and impartially compared. Harrison gives a detailed historical picture of the emergence of this concept and how it led to the discipline of comparative religion.