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Title: Constructing the Religious ‘Other’
Keywords: religion and social groupsgroup identityreligious identity
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Gereon Wolters, "Constructing the Religious ‘Other’", in: Cinzia Ferrini (Edited by), "Human Diversity in Context", Trieste EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020, pp. 101-120
As Aristotle already pointed out, Homo sapiens is a social animal. ‘Social’ means that every individual belongs to a group of people or to various such groups. Examples are families, tribes, nations. How are such groups kept together? In my essay, I will show that religion is a primary means of building up the cohesion of social groups, and a first rate component of their exclusive identity, thus involving processes of ‘othering’. Constructing religious ‘otherness’ provides the negative complement of religious identity, and contributes greatly to its consolidation. This is mostly shown with examples from the holy texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In the first section I present some general remarks on group identity. In the next three sections I offer a brief account of the creation or construction of the ‘other’ in the Sacred Scriptures of the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I conclude by advancing some general considerations about the role of violence in constructing the religious ‘other’.
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-88-5511-112-6
eISBN: 978-88-5511-113-3
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Human Diversity in Context

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