Prospects for Pluralism: Voice and Vision in the Study of Religion
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CitationEck, Diana. 2007. Prospects for pluralism: Voice and vision in the study of religion. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 75(4): 743-776.
AbstractThis paper addresses religious pluralism as an academic, civic, and theological challenge. Looking at religious communities in their connections and interrelations is a critical academic challenge for students of religion who would gain insight into the dynamics of religious life and identities today. The encounter of people from different religious traditions in hometown America has reshaped the context of religious life, calling for attention and serious study. In short, the study of a complex city like Fremont, CA, might well be the study of today's Silk Road, today's convivencia. Religious pluralism is also a critical civic issue for citizens of increasingly diverse societies, raising fundamental questions about the nature of civic polity, the "we" of our civic life. And, to be sure, religious pluralism is a critical theological issue for people of faith, raising fundamental questions about one's own faith in relation to the religious other. Scholarly, civic, and theological issues have their own distinctive realms of discourse and require us to think carefully about the meaning of "voice" in our work. We cannot evade the question of voice in thinking theoretically about pluralism, for diversity is not only the characteristic of the worlds we study but of our own identities, our multiply-situated selves.
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