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Religions 2018, 9(2), 58; doi:10.3390/rel9020058

Interrogating the Comparative Method: Whither, Why, and How?1

Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130, USA
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodical Aspects of Comparison)
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This essay seeks to illuminate the problematics, methods, and dynamics of comparison by interrogating how certain analytical categories in the study of religion, such as scripture and the body, can be fruitfully reimagined through a comparative analysis of their Hindu and Jewish instantiations. I consider a range of issues that are critical to any productive comparative study, and I reflect more specifically on the principal components of my own comparative method in light of Oliver Freiberger’s analytical framework: the goals of comparative analysis; the modes of comparison; the parameters that define the scope and the scale of the comparative inquiry; and the operations involved in the comparative process, beginning with selection of the specific traditions and analytical categories to be addressed and formulation of the organizational design of the study and culminating in the re-visioned categories and models in the study of religion that constitute the fruits of the comparative inquiry. View Full-Text
Keywords: comparative method; analytical categories; models of religious tradition; Hinduisms; Judaisms; Hindu-Jewish comparative studies; scripture; body; Veda; Torah comparative method; analytical categories; models of religious tradition; Hinduisms; Judaisms; Hindu-Jewish comparative studies; scripture; body; Veda; Torah
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Holdrege, B.A. Interrogating the Comparative Method: Whither, Why, and How?1. Religions 2018, 9, 58.

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