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My Neighbour’s God

Interfaith Spaces and Claims of Religious Identity

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Edited By Andreas Kunz-Lübcke

In the latest discussion on the relations between religions, it has often been argued that monotheism necessarily leads to intolerance and exclusivism. A religion which claims to worship «the one and only true God» is inevitably forced to reject every religious behaviour and practices of «the Other». But is this really the case? This volume contains contributions which discuss the major question: What are the instruments and the strategies used in different religious settings where interreligious encounter is part of daily life? Most of the contributions concentrate on the challenges of theology in the context of India. A special focus will be on approaches for interreligious coexistence derived from Biblical or Systematic Theology.

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Neighborhood: An Interfaith Hermeneutical Space

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Abstract: The Identity of God is closely related to the Identity of the People of God, which is true of most cultures and contexts. The Identity of God is dependent on the knowledge of God, which in turn is shaped by a language of God. This is true of Scriptural religious traditions and non-scriptural religious traditions, written and oral traditions, priestly and lay traditions. In a country like India, where a pluralistic understanding constitutes the history and lived experience of the people, these interfaith spaces are being increasingly contested. Multiple identities which were celebrated are replaced with singular identities in the name of Religion, Caste, Gender and Class. Interfaith spaces are shrinking and giving way to hegemonic spaces where people are pushed to the margins. Interfaith spaces are not only religious spaces, but also social spaces, political spaces, geographical spaces and cultural spaces. The Pew Research is an important reminder indicating that India has the highest number of social hostilities due to religion in 2013, the last statistic that is available.1 It is in this context, the paper attempts to explore Neighborhood as an Interfaith space in the New Testament and thereby attempts to engage in a dialogue of cultures and social contexts.

Keywords: interfaith spaces, Neighborhood as an Interfaith space

1. Introduction

The paper deals with Acts 17:16–34, and demonstrates that the engagement of God between faiths happens in the Neighborhood and attempts to do this with the Vachanas,...

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