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Deep Learning Across Religious Borders279
Drawing upon the author s three decades of work incomparative theology, this is a pertinent and comprehensiveintroduction to the field, which offers a clear guide to thereader, enabling them to engage in comparative study. * The author has three decades of experience of work in the fieldof comparative theology and is ideally placed to write thisbook * Today s increasing religious diversity makes this apertinent and timely publication * Unique in the depth of its introduction and explanation of thediscipline of comparative theology * Provides examples of how comparative theology works in the newglobal context of human religiosity * Draws on examples specific to Hindu-Christian studies to showhow it is possible to understand more deeply the wider diversityaround us. * Clearly guides the reader, enabling them to engage incomparative study
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"But as this volume suggests, our interreligious milieu provides a new impetus not just for learning about our neighbors' faiths but learning from them. Francis X. Clooney, S.J., is a most trustworthy guide." (The National Catholic Weekly, September 2010) "Clooney's book thus provides an extremely needful, as well as accessible, contribution to the furthering of this developing discipline, and as such it is a very valuable piece of scholarship." (American Theological Inquiry, July 2010)
Francis X. Clooney, S.J., is Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. His primary areas of scholarship are theological commentarial writings in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India, and the developing field of comparative theology. He was the first president of the International Society for Hindu-Christian Studies, and, from 1998 to 2004, was coordinator for interreligious dialogue for the Jesuits of the United States. Professor Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books, including Hindu God, Christian God (2001), Divine Mother, Blessed Mother (2005), Jesuit Postmodern: Scholarship, Vocation, and Identity in the 21st Century (2006), Beyond Compare: St. Francis and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (2008), and The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus (2008).
Preface and Acknowledgments xi Part I Starting Points 1 1 Religious Diversity and Comparative Theology 3 Diversity around Us 4 Diversity within Us 6 Comparative Theology as a Response to Twenty-first-CenturyReligious Diversity 8 Distinguishing Comparative Theology from Related Disciplines9 Comparative Theology and the Academic Study of Religions 12 Comparative Theology and Interreligious Dialogue 13 Comparative Theology and the Theology of Religions 14 Comparative Theology Autobiographically Grounded 16 On the Limits of This Book 19 Looking Ahead 22 2 In Generations Past: Some Ancestors to Today's ComparativeTheology 24 Comparative Theology and the Long History of Christian Interreligious Reflection 24 Western Jesuit Scholars in India 27 Comparative Theology as a Discipline (1699 ) 30 A Moderate Criticism of Missionary Scholarship and the OlderComparative Theology 35 At the End of the Era 37 3 Comparative Theology Today 41 David Tracy 42 Keith Ward 43 Robert C. Neville 45 A Note on Raimon Panikkar 47 James Fredericks 49 New Directions 50 From Theory (Back) to Practice 52 Part II Doing Theology Comparatively 55 4 From Theory to Practice 57 The Practice of (Comparative) Religious Reading 57 Intelligent Reading 59 Commentary as a Religious Practice 60 Interreligious Commentary 63 Leaving Room for Other Readers and Their Readings 66 Necessarily Elite Choices 67 5 Getting Particular: A Christian Studies Hinduism 69 The Importance of Focus 69 (Self)Identifying This Particular Comparative Theologian 70 Making a Map, Marking the Field: Hinduism in Brief 70 Getting Particular: Mimamsa, Vedanta, and Srivaisnavism 74 Appreciating Similarities 75 Theistic Hinduism as a Useful and Comfortable Focus 77 Theology as a Hindu Discipline 78 Comparative Theology in Hinduism and Other Traditions 80 My Comparative Theology, Indebted to Hindu Theologies 83 6 "Learning to See": Comparative Practice and the Widening ofTheological Vision 87 Plenary Address at the Catholic Theology Society of America,2003 88 Near a Goddess 88 Devi's Beauty, Devi's Pleasure 90 Rediscovering Mary 93 Mary and Her Son Jesus, through Muslim Eyes 96 Sojourner Truth's Liberating God 99 All in Christ, but Still All 103 Vocation 105 After "Learning to See" 106 Part III The Fruits of Comparison 109 7 Theology After Comparison 111 Comparative Theology and the Larger Work of Theology 111 The Multiple Responsibilities of the Comparative Theologian113 Some Theological Presuppositions Implicit in ComparativeTheology 114 Comparative Theological Learning, in Particular 117 The Imago Dei and Our Destiny in Bliss 118 What "Narayana" Might Mean for the Christian 121 Encountering Goddesses 123 Comparative Theology and the Intensification of Devotion 125 Theology on a Smaller Scale 127 8 "God for Us" 128 "God for Us": An Essay 128 A Verse, a Clue 129 What Hindus Thought about the Verse 130 Living the Verse 132 The Verse and Its Wider Context 133 An Aside on How to See God and on How God Wills to Be Seen135 Noticing One's First Citizenship: Reflection on Ignatian Insightand My Home Citizenship 139 What Ignatius Had to Say 140 Some Contemporary Views of the Intensification and Emptying ofthe Imagination in the Spiritual Exercises 143 Multiple Religious Belonging, Human but Also Divine 146 "God for Us" as Comparative Theology 151 9 Comparative Writer, Comparative Reader 154 The Comparative Theologian Transformed 155 The Comparative Theologian as Marginal Person 157 The Comparative Theologian's New Community 160 Tasks and Opportunities for the Reader 162 Beyond This Book 164 Notes 166 Select Bibliography 172 Index 177