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Author Topic: Doing comparative religion well  (Read 2582 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #2: April 14, 2010, 06:10:18 pm »

I think one of the most important things involving comparative religion is that the religion needs to be codified well enough to be able to say it IS X and NOT Y.

Any religion that still gets a lot of hand-waving and "sorta like but not really but kinda" descriptors can't really be compared because you don't know what it IS.

To use completely made up examples - if you are talking about Followers of the Cosmic Twinkie compared to the Order of the Radish - you can say that both celebrate food as divine, but one is more interested in vegetables while the other focuses on desserts.  And you can look at them and discuss that, because it's right there.  But without a lot more information, you don't have any idea what they think about hamburger, and can't compare it.  Especially if there IS no real doctrine on hamburger, so you'll get as many opinions as there are religious participants.

And there's a lot of Pagan religions, at least, that don't have doctrine on questions that are often used for comparative religion - it's not what's important.  Or it is important but not really discussed, in some cases.  Without that, you can't compare, because you don't know what's the religion and what's the individual follower.

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