Dr. Rasoulipour's Presentation in the Second Pre-con Meeting
10 September 2023
Dr. Rasoulipour's Presentation in the Second Pre-con Meeting

Here is the English abstract of  Dr. Rasoul Rasoulipour's (Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran) presentation at the 2nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in the Iranian Jewish Committee in Isfahan on June 8, 2023.


Interreligious Dialogue and the Method of Scriptural Reasoning (SR)

The interreligious dialogues have a long history full of ups and downs. In recent decades, these dialogues have aimed to replace traditional apologetic approaches. The fields of "comparative religion," "comparative studies of religions," or "history and comparative studies of religions" have become established as necessary foundations for interreligious dialogue. While in the past, interreligious dialogue was primarily seen as a way to prove the truth of a particular religion, today, most participants are inclined towards discovering or formulating a more comprehensive divine truth. While some seek to formulate a universal truth beyond any specific religion, others strive to both remain faithful to their own religious self-understanding and to extract the universal truth from various religious traditions. In the past, interreligious dialogues mainly focused on examining the truth of religions dividing into exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism. However, there are other contemporary approaches in comparative religion that go beyond the discussion of truth, such as particularism, postcolonial or dialectical approaches, confessional approach, transconfessional or transreligious approach, and interreligious approach. In this paper, while introducing the modern genres of comparative religion, we refer to a new method in interreligious dialogue called scriptural reasoning, which was established in the 1980s by Peter Ochs at the University of Cambridge. In scriptural reasoning, dialogue takes place collectively and comparatively through the reading of sacred and authentic texts of participants’ religions. Dialogue with other religions ultimately leads to dialogue within one's own religion, in which religious teachings, rituals, experiences, and other aspects of one's own religion are reinterpreted in the light of another religion. In the approach of scriptural reasoning, the participant first introduces him/herself as a follower of a specific religion and then engages in a reciprocal exchange: on the one hand, they share what they have learned from their own religion with others, and on the other hand, they indicate what the other religion can learn from their own religion.


Translator: Mahdi Qasemi