Every generation of theologians must respond to its context by rearticulating the central tenets of the faith. Interreligious comparison has been integral to this process from the start of the Christian tradition and is especially salient today. The emerging field of comparative theology, in which close study of another religious tradition yields new questions and categories for theological reflection in the scholar’s home tradition, embodies the ecumenical spirit of this moment. This discipline has the potential to enrich systematic theology and, by extension, theological education, at its foundations.
The essays in Comparing Faithfully demonstrate that engagement with religious diversity need not be an afterthought in the study of Christian systematic theology; rather, it can be a way into systematic theological thinking. Each section invites students to test theological categories, to consider Christian doctrine in relation to specific comparisons, and to take up comparative study in their own contexts.
This resource for pastors and theology students reconsiders five central doctrines of the Christian faith in light of focused interreligious investigations. The dialogical format of the book builds conversation about the doctrine of God, theodicy, humanity, Christology, and soteriology. Its comparative essays span examples from Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Jain, and Confucian traditions as well as indigenous Aztec theology, and contemporary “spiritual but not religious” thought to offer exciting new perspectives on Christian doctrine.
“Advances the burgeoning field of comparative theology. Voss Roberts hones in on how theologians read closely and respectfully the texts and ideas of other traditions, making themselves vulnerable to their insights; and consider whether rational accounts of their own faith could be substantively enriched by encounters with those others, without cannibalizing or appropriating them.”
—James W. Farwell
Virginia Theological Seminary