Jordan Lectures In Comparative Religion
May 20-23, 2013
THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS
Guy G. Stroumsa
The historical and comparative study of religions, which developed as a discipline in the second half of the nineteenth century, has rarely discussed Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the same framework, and thus has remained to a great extent unable to perceive clearly, from a structural as well as from a genetic perspective, both their close similarities and their deep differences. It is only very recently that the locution “the Abrahamic religions” has become fashionable as a heuristic tool and that the comparative scholarly study of these religions has picked up momentum. The lectures will present the case for a broad, synthetic and comparative study of the intellectual, cultural and religious context of the emergence and development of the Abrahamic religions. The focus will be on the confluence of a number of disciplines: Orientalism, Jewish Studies, and the scholarly study of Christianity (in particular early and late antique Christianity), in the emerging comparative and historical study of religions (or Religionswissenschaft, Histoire des religions) and the invention of the concept of “world religions”.
Prof. Stroumsa is Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford, where he is a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall.
Chair: Prof. Catherine Hezser, SOAS