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Listening to God: A categorical analysis of event-based revelation in a comparative context

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This paper demonstrates that there is a taxonomy, or set of meta-terms, which can be applied when describing revelation in its different forms as it occurs in various religions. The development of meta-terms and methods will aid current efforts in comparative theology by allowing the application of common terms and basic methodology in comparative theological projects. Presently, much of the discipline is subject to interpretative methods. As the discipline becomes more widespread, and a next generation of scholars attempting comparative theology broadens their focus, common terms and methodology will be even more necessary. This paper seeks to prove that it is possible for scholars to develop and use such meta-terms, using the juxtaposition of three religious texts dealing with revelation as examples.

The paper will briefly sketch out meta-terms for use with revelation. It will do so through the juxtaposition of three brief, but illustrative, texts from three religious traditions: Chapters 4 and 11 of the Bhagavad-Gita, The Gospel of John, with special emphasis on chapters 4 and 6:41 to 7, and the Qur’anic view of prophethood and revelation in 2.97 and as interpreted by the late Fazlur Rahman, a renowned Islamic scholar.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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