Show Less
Restricted access

A Critical Study of Classical Religious Texts in Global Contexts

Challenges of a Changing World

Edited By Beth E. Elness-Hanson and Jon Skarpeid

A Critical Study of Classical Religious Texts in Global Contexts: Challenges of a Changing World challenges toxic stereotypes of world religions by providing scholarly investigations into classic sacred texts in global contexts. By engaging more perspectives, important connections, and more, complex and humanizing "stories" are developed, inviting the reader to see the face of the "Other" and, perhaps, to see a bit of oneself in that face. In today’s world of increasing polarization and the rise of nationalism, the contributors to this volume welcome the reader to join them in a shared humanity that seeks understanding. A red thread that runs through each chapter relates to the challenges that globalization brings to the sacred texts in various contextual settings. The contributors describe various circumstances related to reading and interpreting sacred writings—whether historical or more recent—which continue to have an influence today. The essays in this volume view these religious texts in relation to four dichotomies: minority-majority, diaspora-homeland, center-periphery of the globalized world, and secular-religious. These elements by no means exhaust the issues, but they serve as a starting point for a discussion of relevant contexts in which sacred texts are read. The breadth of research represented stimulates a deeper understanding that is vital if we are to move beyond stereotypes and religious illiteracy to meaningfully engage the "Other" with wisdom and empathy—important virtues in today’s world. A Critical Study of Classical Religious Texts in Global Contexts will appeal to scholars and graduate students of religious studies, sacred scriptures, and post-colonial studies, as well as informed and inquisitive general readers interested in exploring interfaith dialogue and broadening their religious literacy.

“This wide-ranging book is an exploration of ways of knowing and interpreting classical religious texts from a variety of perspectives. Together, the chapters speak to the diverse, innovative, and sometimes surprising ways that such texts are integrated in and shape everyday lives, including kindergarten teachers, students, and cancer patients. Highlighting the global context in which such texts circulate, the book simultaneously illustrates the importance of local interpretive practices.” —Lori G. Beaman, Canada Research Chair in Religious Diversity and Social Change, University of Ottawa

“This excellent collection of essays by Scandinavian scholars of religious studies, assembled by Beth E. Elness-Hanson and Jon Skarpeid, discusses issues related to the impact of globalisation on classic religious texts in a variety of national contexts. Collectively, the chapters present examples of research which contribute engagingly to the breaking of stereotypes and to the development of religious literacy. The book will be of great interest to those participating in religious education and religious studies, as well as to a wider readership.” —Robert Jackson, Emeritus Professor of Religions in Education at the University of Warwick and Visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education at Stockholm University