Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Theology

Editor-in-Chief: Taliaferro, Charles

1 Issue per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-6579
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Playing Many Religion-Games: a Wittgensteinian Approach to Multiple Religious Belonging

Rhiannon Grant
Published Online: 2017-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0001

Abstract

Using resources from Ludwig Wittgenstein and George Lindbeck, this paper develops a new conceptual tool for the understanding of religious identity: the ‘religion-game’. Although related to Wittgenstein’s language-games and drawing on Lindbeck‘s cultural-linguistic model of religion, this conceptual tool produces new results when applied to examples of multiple religious belonging. Drawing on the existing literature about the practice of multiple religious participation in Western countries, two realistic examples are developed at length and it is shown that the concept of a religion-game can help people to express their religious belonging in more positive ways. In particular, the many everyday choices made by people with more than one religious affiliation are clarified as choices to participate in some religion-games but not others. This de-emphasises the role of identity, often assumed to be singular, in religious belonging and enables an emphasis on behaviour which both fits with the turn towards ‘lived religion’ and permits a vivid and accurate account of the experience of at least two common paths to multiple religious belonging.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; cultural-linguistic model; dual religious belonging; religious identity; lived religion

References

  • Carlson, Jeffrey. “Pretending to be Buddhist and Christian: Thich Nhat Hanh and the Two Truths of Religious Identity.” Buddhist-Christian Studies, 20: (2000), 115-25.Google Scholar

  • Cornille, Catherine. “Double Religious Belonging: Aspects and Questions.” Buddhist-Christian Studies, 23: (2003), 43-49.Google Scholar

  • Drew, Rose. Buddhist and Christian? An exploration of dual belonging. Oxford: Routledge, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Goodman-Malamuth, Leslie and Margolis, Robin. Between Two Worlds: Choices for Grown Children of Jewish-Christian Parents. New York: Pocket Books, 1992.Google Scholar

  • Goosen, Gideon. “An Empirical Study of Dual Religious Belonging.” Journal of Empirical Theology, 20: (2007), 159-78.Google Scholar

  • Goosen, Gideon. Hyphenated Christians: Towards a Better Understanding of Dual Religious Belonging. Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2011.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Grant, Rhiannon. Wittgensteinian investigations of contemporary Quaker religious language. Leeds: University of Leeds, 2014.Google Scholar

  • Knitter, Paul F. Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian. Oneworld, 2009.Google Scholar

  • Lindbeck, George A. The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age. London: SPCK, 1984.Google Scholar

  • McGuire, Meredith B. Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press via Amazon Kindle, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Miller, Susan Katz. Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family. Beacon Press, 2013.Google Scholar

  • Rhees, Rush. “Wittgenstein’s Builders.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 60: (1960), 171-86.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rockquemore, Kerry Ann and Brunsma, David L. Beyond Black: Biracial Identity in America. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008.Google Scholar

  • Sen, Amartya. Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. Amazon Kindle: Penguin Book, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Thatamanil, John J. “Eucharist Upstairs, Yoga Downstairs: On Multiple Religious Participation.” In Many Yet One? Multiple Religious Belonging, ed. P. J. R. Rajkumar and J. P. Dayam. Switzerland: WCC Publications, 2016.Google Scholar

  • Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations. Chichester: Blackwell, 2009.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-03-24

Accepted: 2016-07-11

Published Online: 2017-01-13

Published in Print: 2017-01-26


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 1–9, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0001.

Export Citation

© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in