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Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology

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Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology

Catherine Cornille

ISBN: 978-1-119-53524-9 February 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages

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Description

The first systematic overview of the field of comparative theology

Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology offers a synthesis of and a blueprint for the emerging field of comparative theology. It discusses various approaches to the field, the impact of religious views of other religions on the way in which comparative theology is conducted, and the particularities of comparative theological hermeneutics. It also provides an overview of the types of learning and of the importance of comparative theology for traditional confessional theology. Though drawing mainly from examples of Christian comparative theology, the book presents a methodological framework that may be applied to any religious tradition.

Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology begins with an elaboration on the basic distinction between confessional and meta-confessional approaches to comparative theology. The book also identifies and examines six possible types of comparative theological learning and addresses various questions regarding the relationship between comparative and confessional theology. 

  • Provides a unique and objective look at the field of comparative theology for scholars of religion and theologians who want to understand or situate their work within the broader field
  • Contains methodological questions and approaches that apply to comparative theologians from any religious tradition
  • Recognizes and affirms the diversity within the field, while advancing unique perspectives that might be the object of continued discussions among theologians

Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology offers an important basis for scholars to position their own work within the broader field of comparative theology and is an essential resource for anyone interested in theology conducted in dialogue with other religious traditions. 

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Types of Comparative Theology 9

1.1 Comparing Theologies 11

1.2 Confessional Comparative Theology 18

1.3 Meta‐Confessional Comparative Theology 25

1.4 Between Confessional and Meta‐Confessional Comparative Theology 30

2 The Status of Other Religions in Comparative Theology 43

2.1 Exclusivism and Comparative Theology 45

2.2 Particularism and Comparative Theology 49

2.3 Closed Inclusivism and Comparative Theology 54

2.4 Open Inclusivism and Comparative Theology 57

2.5 Pluralism and Comparative Theology 61

2.6 Postcolonialism and Comparative Theology 65

2.7 Dialogue between Perceptions of the Religious Other 70

3 Comparative Theological Hermeneutics 79

3.1 Understanding the Other through the Self 81

3.2 Understanding the Self through the Other 89

3.3 Participation and Understanding 93

3.4 Dynamics of Interreligious Borrowing 97

3.5 The Problem of Syncretism 101

3.6 The Problem of Hegemony 104

4 Types of Learning in Comparative Theology 115

4.1 Intensification 116

4.2 Rectification 121

4.3 Recovery 124

4.4 Reinterpretation 129

4.5 Appropriation 134

4.6 Reaffirmation 137

5 Comparative Theology and Confessional Theology 149

5.1 Comparative Theology as Constructive Theology 151

5.2 The Hybrid Religious Identity of the Comparative Theologian 153

5.3 The Problem of Choice in Comparative Theology 157

5.4 Discernment in Comparative Theology 160

5.5 The Target Public of Comparative Theology 166

5.6 Comparative Theology and Apologetics 169

5.7 Importance of Comparative Theology for Confessional Theology 172

5.8 The Place of Comparative Theology within Confessional Theology 176

5.9 Comparative Theology beyond Confessional Theology 178

Conclusion 185

Bibliography 191

Index 207