Did Francis Bacon ever undertake the task of writing a natural history of religion? The following paper seeks to investigate this question and, further, to enquire into whether Bacon's natural historical method had any impact on the nascent “science of religion” that would develop during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the first instance, it addresses what religion, both “true” and “false,” actually entailed for Bacon, and then considers the nature of “natural” religion in Bensalem. Ultimately, it proposes that, while Bacon himself never wrote a self-described natural history of religion, he nevertheless approached “false” religion in the same way that later thinks would treat all “religion”; that is, as an artefact of the human mind.

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