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Synopsis

Can religions be compared? For decades the discipline of religious studies was based on the assumption that they can. Postmodern and postcolonial reflections, however, raised significant doubts. In social and cultural studies the investigation of the particular often took precedence over a comparative perspective. Interreligious Comparisons in Religious Studies and Theology questions whether religious studies can survive if it ceases to be comparative religion. Can it do justice to a globalized world if it is limited on the specific and turns a blind eye on the general?

While comparative approaches have come under strong pressure in religious studies, they have started flourishing in Theology. Comparative theology practices interfaith dialogue by means of comparative research. This volume asks whether theology and religious studies are able to mutually benefit from their critical and constructive reflections. Can postcolonial criticism of neutrality and objectivity in religious studies create new links with the decidedly perspectival approach of comparative theology?

In this collection scholars from theology and religious studies discuss the methodology of interreligious comparison in the light of recent doubts and current objections. Together with the contributors, Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Andreas Nehring argue that after decades of critique, interreligious comparison deserves to be reconsidered, reconstructed and reintroduced.

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