Muhammad Akram deposited Beyond Dichotomies: The Import of Gadamer’s Hermeneutics for the Debate of Relationship between Theology and Religious Studies in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 2 years, 2 months ago
This paper discusses the issue of the relationship between theology and religious studies, drawing on certain principles of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutical theory. Leaving aside differences between Gadamer and his critics, it is argued that his rehabilitation of prejudice, authority, and tradition as well as his notions of the fusion of horizons and intersubjective dialogue put into question the utility of dichotomous categories like subjective-objective, normative-descriptive, and insider-outsider in approaches to religion. It is suggested, therefore, that a clearer distinction between theology and religious studies can be established in terms of the subject matter of these disciplines rather than on the basis of their methodological principles. However, as both disciplines venture to understand at least some overlapping dimensions of religious phenomena which make up their common subject matter, to this extent, they can be viewed as dialogical partners and as providing different but complementary perspectives on religion.