Academic journal article Theological Studies

Understanding Interreligious Relations

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Understanding Interreligious Relations

Article excerpt

Understanding Interreligious Relations. Edited by David Cheetham, Douglas Pratt, and David Thomas. New York: Oxford University, 2014. Pp. viii + 448. $150; $35.

Because it favors the comprehensive rubric of interreligious "relations," which includes and exceeds the specialty of interreligious "dialogue," this extensive and finely written volume combines a breadth of topical treatment with multiple religions' perspectives on the religious other that few (if any) earlier studies have managed to conjoin. The authors, principally from the United Kingdom and the United States, are leading scholars in their fields.

Part I contains five treatments of the religious other from the convenient vantage point of five major religions--Hinduism (Jeffery Long), Buddhism (Elizabeth Harris), Judaism (Edward Kessler), Christianity (Perry Schmidt-Leukel), and Islam (David Thomas)--and this section's omission of African Traditional Religion is regrettable opposite the five tradition-specific and richly detailed treatments of sacred texts, theological developments, historical and cultural contingencies, and contemporary issues surrounding religious otherness. Taken together, these early chapters constitute a clear, rich, and efficient synthesis of traditions' development and deployment of internal resources and criteria to respond to religious otherness in various ways.

The longer part II ably treats "themes and issues" in interreligious relations that remain open scenes of challenge and debate in contemporary life, such as conversion (Andrew Wingate), dialogue (Marianne Moyaert), migration in the context of majority-minority interreligious dynamics (Peter Phan and Jonathan Tan), fundamentalism and extremism (Douglas Pratt), conflict and peacebuilding (Anna Halafoff), the public sphere (Nicholas Adams), liberation and justice (Mario Aguilar), multiple religious belonging (Catherine Comille), boundaries (David Vishanoff), and cooperation (Paul Weller). …

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