How to Do Comparative Religion? Three Ways, Many Goals by Rene Gothoni

By Rene Gothoni

Famous students within the research of religions increase so far and elucidate the dialogue at the 3 such a lot debated techniques in comparative faith, specifically, the hermeneutical, the explanatory or cognitivist and the serious one. The ways, standpoints and techniques of learning faith are disputed in an outspoken and hard means, seriously and greatly arguing professionals and cons. filled with crucial insights into the discussion of at the present time and of the demanding situations of the next day to come, the paintings continues to be targeted and unrivalled.

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It is a descriptive task only. From the viewpoint of perspectivism, the problem with this kind of scholarship is that if perceptions of reality are always from a point of view, there really cannot be a pure and simple description of other people's experiences. All descriptions are always interpreted descriptions. Furthermore, even if pure descriptions were possible, then one could ask whether we need scholars at all. Wouldn't members of other cultures and practitioners of different religions be in a much better position to describe their religious experiences than an outsider (even an informed one) foreign to their community?

Secondly, and following from the first point, the contexts of interpretation must be chosen so that they are open to intersubjective testing. This requires that interpretations should be constructed on the basis of empirical data and testable theories (see Waardenburg 1978). e. the cognizing process which goes by the name of "the hermeneutical circle" (see above pp. 19-21). " But what exactly is it? Perspectivism comes in many forms, but, according to John Searle, they all have in common according to them, that "we have no access to, we have no way of representing, and no means of coping with the real world except from a certain point of view, from a certain set of presuppositions, under a certain aspect, from a certain stance" (Searle 1999, 20).

Actual meaningful religious experience consists of what one does with such symbolic structures that provide an inexhaustible source for actualization, revalorization, and reconstitution of meaning. Religious symbols are not present initially as fully articulated, "fulfilled" meanings. They appear as prereflective "ciphers," experienced through vague intuitions and "empty intentionalities," that "key" into experience and provide possibilities for gradually experiencing fulfilled meanings and constituting a meaningfully-structured world of religious phenomena.

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