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Challenging Truths: Reflections on the Theological Dimension of Comparative Theology
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Received: 27 September 2012; in revised form: 27 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 1 November 2012
Abstract: Given that comparative theology is aimed at learning from the insights of other religious traditions, the comparative theologian’s confessional perspective must be engaged and subject to possible transformation through the discovery of truth in those traditions. Despite Francis Clooney’s and James Fredericks’ attempts to distance comparative theology from the theology of religions, its truth-seeking dimension makes participation in the theology of religions unavoidable. Crucial to integrating what is learned, moreover, is a willingness to allow presuppositions about the other to be challenged and to make revisions if necessary. Keith Ward exhibits this willingness but, on this basis, distinguishes comparative theology from confessional theology, thus obscuring the legitimacy of revision from a committed religious standpoint. Where comparative theologians are willing and able to integrate all that is learned through their study of other traditions, comparative theology can be conceived of as both a confessional enterprise and a contribution to what Wilfred Cantwell Smith called ‘World Theology’—that is, the ongoing attempt to give intellectual expression to the faith of us all.
Keywords: comparative theology; confessional theology; theology of religions; world theology; inclusivism; pluralism; identity; Clooney; Fredericks; Ward
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Drew, R. Challenging Truths: Reflections on the Theological Dimension of Comparative Theology. Religions 2012, 3, 1041-1053.
Drew R. Challenging Truths: Reflections on the Theological Dimension of Comparative Theology. Religions. 2012; 3(4):1041-1053.
Drew, Rose. 2012. "Challenging Truths: Reflections on the Theological Dimension of Comparative Theology." Religions 3, no. 4: 1041-1053.