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Comparative theology: An alternative to religious studies or theology of religions?
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CitationAvcı, B. (2018). Comparative theology: An alternative to religious studies or theology of religions? Religions, 9(3), 1-9.
This paper examines the relationship between Comparative Theology, Religious Studies and Theology of Religions and questions whether Comparative Theology is an alternative to the last two. Comparative Theology, a faith seeking understanding practice, may be viewed as an alternative to the Enlightenment ideal of Religious Studies, which seeks “impartiality” and “scientific objectivity” in contrast to Comparative Theology’s enquiry into “truth” and “meaning.” I suggest, however, that the comparative method employed by both Religious Studies and Comparative Theology is not a neutral space. Hence, the new comparativism in Religious Studies reinstates its search for understanding and its political stand, which blurs the boundaries between Comparative Theology and Religious Studies. Likewise, while Comparative Theology is distinct from the Theology of Religions, it does not pose an alternative to it because Comparative Theology, too, often embodies either a pluralist or an inclusivist approach.