Religions and Their Environment

  • Ina Wunn
  • Davina Grojnowski
Part of the New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion book series (NASR, volume 6)


The term environment in its strict sense (the German Umwelt) refers to the totality of those factors of the surroundings that actually exert some influence on the religion or that are effected by the religion, such as nature, economy, social organization, political situation, competitors. Religions adapt to their respective environments at their own pace, the environment exerts selection pressure onto the respective religion and thusly picks out especially suitable varieties. The varieties which harmonise with the living situation, the way of life, and the adherents’ ideology the best, relatively speaking, are more suitable and more adapted than others; their set of beliefs, rules, and behaviours can be communicated the best and the most successfully.


Social organisation Natural environment Political environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ina Wunn
    • 1
  • Davina Grojnowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyLeibniz University of HanoverHanoverGermany
  2. 2.Formerly King’s CollegeLondonUK

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