Religions in Dialogue: A Triadic Approach to Scriptural Reasoning

Document Type : Original Article

Author

University of Pretoria Professor UP · Department of Religious Studies

Abstract

“After the eighth Infallible Imam al-Riḍā (Persian pronunciation, Imam Reza) had answered the questions of the (religious) delegation, including eminent Christian and Jewish (religious) scholars, he said to them: ‘O People! If any of you is familiar with Islam and wants to (direct) questions (to me), then let him come up with the question(s) without feeling ashamed.’”
The above quotation from Imam Reza proves insightful into how he understood engagement with other religions, as it relates to his own religion in that this engagement should not be done, but with honesty.
The present paper focuses on Scriptural Reasoning as a method of making religions closer to one another with a view of understanding the other and, in so doing, understanding more of oneself. The engagement of religions will be addressed at three levels (triadic approach): Inter-religion, Intra-religion and trans-religion. 
I will trace the history and influences that developed into the concept of Scriptural Reasoning as a method of honestly engaging other religions and one’s own religion. Scriptural Reasoning was always a method of engagement between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is not about finding commonality, neither is it to be seen as a foundational approach, where exclusivity forms the basis of the approach to Scriptural Reasoning, nor about finding agreements (though there may be). It is, however, about learning to disagree better. It is about engaging the difficult texts, asking the difficult questions, and allowing the text to speak even to the detriment of popular beliefs about a text.

Keywords


Article Title [Persian]

Religions in Dialogue: A Triadic Approach to Scriptural Reasoning

Author [Persian]

  • Maniraj Sukdaven
University of Pretoria Professor UP · Department of Religious Studies
Abstract [Persian]

“After the eighth Infallible Imam al-Riḍā (Persian pronunciation, Imam Reza) had answered the questions of the (religious) delegation, including eminent Christian and Jewish (religious) scholars, he said to them: ‘O People! If any of you is familiar with Islam and wants to (direct) questions (to me), then let him come up with the question(s) without feeling ashamed.’”
The above quotation from Imam Reza proves insightful into how he understood engagement with other religions, as it relates to his own religion in that this engagement should not be done, but with honesty.
The present paper focuses on Scriptural Reasoning as a method of making religions closer to one another with a view of understanding the other and, in so doing, understanding more of oneself. The engagement of religions will be addressed at three levels (triadic approach): Inter-religion, Intra-religion and trans-religion. 
I will trace the history and influences that developed into the concept of Scriptural Reasoning as a method of honestly engaging other religions and one’s own religion. Scriptural Reasoning was always a method of engagement between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is not about finding commonality, neither is it to be seen as a foundational approach, where exclusivity forms the basis of the approach to Scriptural Reasoning, nor about finding agreements (though there may be). It is, however, about learning to disagree better. It is about engaging the difficult texts, asking the difficult questions, and allowing the text to speak even to the detriment of popular beliefs about a text.

Keywords [Persian]

  • Interreligious dialogue
  • Imam Reza
  • scriptural reasoning
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam
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