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ERIC Number: EJ1049971
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-4868
What Do We Compare When We Compare Religions? Philosophical Remarks on the Psychology of Studying Comparative Religion Abroad
Irvine, Andrew
Teaching Theology & Religion, v18 n1 p46-55 Jan 2015
The issue of comparison is a vexing one in religious and theological studies, not least for teachers of comparative religion in study abroad settings. We try to make familiar ideas fresh and strange, in settings where students may find it hard not to take "fresh" and "strange" as signs of existential threat. The author explores this delicate pedagogical situation, drawing on several years' experience directing a study abroad program and on the thought of figures from the Western existentialist tradition and Chinese Confucian philosophy. The article focuses particularly on "oh events"--defined as moments when one learns one has something to learn and something to unlearn. The author argues that the experience of shame that is typical of oh events can become a valuable resource for cross-cultural learning and personal transformation, if teachers assist students to reflect on the experience as a sign of differing, but potentially harmonizable, cultural expectations. This essay is published alongside of six other essays, including a response from John Barbour, comprising a special section of the journal (see "Teaching Theology and Religion" 18:1, January 2015). [See the essays in ERIC at: EJ1049966 (Elijah Siegler); EJ1049973 (Kerry Mitchell); EJ1049975 (Norris W. Palmer); EJ1049977 (Wendy A. Wiseman); EJ1049979 (Calvin Mercer); and EJ1049982 (Response by John D. Barbour.)]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A