A postcolonial philosophy of religion and interreligious polylogue


  • Willy Pfändtner


Postcolonialism, Religions -- Relations, Dialogue (Theology), Pluralism, Religious, Philosophy and religion, Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976, India, Religion -- Definition, East and West, Difference (Philosophy), Hinduism


In this article, an agenda for the development of a philosophy of religion which is informed by the challenges and possibilities of religious plurality is suggested. It is argued that the philosophy of religion as an academic discipline is in need of a kind of reconstruction if it is to maintain its relevance and connection to actual religious phenomena as they present themselves globally. The problem originates in the fact that the modern concept of religions has a distorting effect when applied to non-western traditions. The article focuses on a way to understand religious diversity by using aspects of Heidegger’s fundamental ontology to illuminate different ways of being religious within the same tradition and also to find similar religious dispositions across traditions. It is argued that this can inform interreligious dialogue so that this dialogue—or rather, polylogue—itself can serve as a tool to develop a postcolonial existential philosophy of religion. Part of this project would be to find and apply concepts and categories by reading religious traditions and subtraditions through each other. The article ends with a few suggestions on how this can be done, in this case by drawing on traditions from India.Willy Pfändtner is Senior Lecturer, Study of Religions, Södertörn University, Sweden. Website: http://webappl.sh.se/C1256E5B0040BEB2/0/9E349559FD45F42DC1257577003D0278

How to Cite

Pfändtner, W. (2011). A postcolonial philosophy of religion and interreligious polylogue. Approaching Religion, 1(1), 33–40. https://doi.org/10.30664/ar.67468