A Cautionary Tale for Interreligious Studies from Comparative Fundamentalism: Who is at the Table?, by Matthew D. Taylor

Interreligious studies is a promising new arena for collaboration in religious studies. This paper proposes that we read the recent demise of the comparative fundamentalism endeavor as a cautionary tale for what can result when religion scholars shape an interdisciplinary and intertraditional discourse. The key structural inequity of that framework was its assumed ideological identification with a non-fundamentalist, “normal” religious outlook. Fundamentalists were treated as a global crisis to be comprehended, leading scholars to caricature the communities, particularly the “Islamic fundamentalists,” they studied. Through careful attention to whom we include in our interreligious conversations, interreligious studies might avoid these same pitfalls.

Keywords: comparative, Fundamentalism, inclusion, other, lessons, interdisciplinary

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