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Open Theology

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The Breadth of the Riches

Transreligious Theology, Particularity, and Universality

Jon Paul Sydnor
Published Online: 2016-04-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0022


Is transreligious theology possible? Yes, but only as a very specific practice. If we accept the neologism „transreligious“ then we must understand it in contrast with the more traditional terms „interreligious“ and „comparative“. Interpreted this way, „transreligious theology“ describes religious discourse about ultimate reality between those with no particular religious identity. Their conversation is panreligious, treating all theological resources equally, without preference for any tradition over any other tradition. This conversation will be quite different from interreligious dialogue or comparative theology, in which participants claim a religious identity while remaining open to the insights of other traditions. Hence, „transreligious theology“ is a descriptive term rather than a prescriptive method. It is already practiced by the non-religiously affiliated who hold an interest in the spirituality of all religions. Even though it may be helpful to some, it is not a necessary practice, since effective theological development can still occur between those with specific religious identities, and by those who only study their own religious traditions.

Keywords: transreligious theology; comparative theology; interreligious dialogue; interfaith; comparative religion; theology; world religions; religious studies; epistemology; difference


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About the article

Received: 2016-01-20

Accepted: 2016-03-04

Published Online: 2016-04-25

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0022.

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©2016 Jon Paul Sydnor. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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