Mobile menu

Books
Right arrow
Stranger's Religion

The Stranger's Religion

Fascination and Fear

Edited by Anna Lännström

This timely book brings together distinguished scholars who reflect on the fascination and fear that humans inevitably experience when confronted with diverse religious beliefs and practices. Contributors argue that fear of the “stranger” and his or her religion can only be overcome through education, and they suggest ways in which we can better understand one another and the world in which we live.

Part one of the collection, entitled “Talking with Strangers,” explores avenues for finding common ground between “religious strangers.” In this section Stephen Prothero examines the American reception of Hinduism, John de Gruchy analyzes the relationship between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in South Africa, and Bhikhu Parekh imagines a dialogue between Osama bin Laden and Mahatma Gandhi. The second set of essays addresses the theme of understanding difference, with a particular focus on methodological approaches within philosophy of religion. Wendy Doniger argues for an approach to cross-cultural studies that recognizes both the similarities and the differences between us and the other, and that encourages us to think and feel with the alien tradition. Eliot Deutsch advocates a pluralistic approach to religion, which encourages cross-religious dialogue. Robert Neville’s essay challenges the tendency to view other religions through a lens shaped by one’s own faith tradition. The final set of essays discusses religious conversions and converts. It includes a piece by John Carman on conversion from Hinduism to Christianity, an essay by Werner Gundersheimer on crossing the border between Christianity and Judaism, and Pravrajika Vrajaprana’s description of her experience as a Caucasian American who became a Hindu nun.

Collectively these essays reveal the importance of learning about, listening to, and empathizing with the “stranger’s religion.” This book will appeal to anyone who is interested in cross-religious and cultural dialogue.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03366-8
216 pages
Publication Year: 2004

Anna Lännström is associate professor of philosophy at Stonehill College.

“As discrete lectures aimed at a broad audience, [these essays] succeed in revealing various approaches to the comparative study of religion as well as tensions endemic to the field. Even readers already familiar with religious studies will find a number of the case histories and narratives, as well as the restatements of familiar problems, of some interest.” — Journal of Church and State

“. . . A very readable collection …” — Contact

P00874

Promise and Peril

The Paradox of Religion as Resource and Threat


Edited by Anna Lännström

P01084

Loving the Fine

Virtue and Happiness in Aristotle's Ethics

Anna Lännström

P03263

God at the Crossroads of Worldviews

Toward a Different Debate about the Existence of God

Paul Seungoh Chung

P03160

Ten Philosophical Essays in the Christian Tradition

Frederick J. Crosson
Edited by Michael J. Crowe and Nicholas Ayo, C.S.C.Tribute by Mary Katherine TillmanIntroduction by Mark Moes

P03012

Golden Cord

A Short Book on the Secular and the Sacred

Charles Taliaferro

The Stranger's Religion

Fascination and Fear


Edited by Anna Lännström

The Stranger's Religion: Fascination and Fear
Cloth Edition
Paper Edition

This timely book brings together distinguished scholars who reflect on the fascination and fear that humans inevitably experience when confronted with diverse religious beliefs and practices. Contributors argue that fear of the “stranger” and his or her religion can only be overcome through education, and they suggest ways in which we can better understand one another and the world in which we live.

Part one of the collection, entitled “Talking with Strangers,” explores avenues for finding common ground between “religious strangers.” In this section Stephen Prothero examines the American reception of Hinduism, John de Gruchy analyzes the relationship between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in South Africa, and Bhikhu Parekh imagines a dialogue between Osama bin Laden and Mahatma Gandhi. The second set of essays addresses the theme of understanding difference, with a particular focus on methodological approaches within philosophy of religion. Wendy Doniger argues for an approach to cross-cultural studies that recognizes both the similarities and the differences between us and the other, and that encourages us to think and feel with the alien tradition. Eliot Deutsch advocates a pluralistic approach to religion, which encourages cross-religious dialogue. Robert Neville’s essay challenges the tendency to view other religions through a lens shaped by one’s own faith tradition. The final set of essays discusses religious conversions and converts. It includes a piece by John Carman on conversion from Hinduism to Christianity, an essay by Werner Gundersheimer on crossing the border between Christianity and Judaism, and Pravrajika Vrajaprana’s description of her experience as a Caucasian American who became a Hindu nun.

Collectively these essays reveal the importance of learning about, listening to, and empathizing with the “stranger’s religion.” This book will appeal to anyone who is interested in cross-religious and cultural dialogue.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03366-8

216 pages

“As discrete lectures aimed at a broad audience, [these essays] succeed in revealing various approaches to the comparative study of religion as well as tensions endemic to the field. Even readers already familiar with religious studies will find a number of the case histories and narratives, as well as the restatements of familiar problems, of some interest.” — Journal of Church and State

“. . . A very readable collection …” — Contact

Boston University Studies in Philosophy and Religion