Recognizing One's Neighbors: An Exploration of How to Navigate a World of Religious Pluralism

Bruno, Maria, Religious Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Mathewes, Charles, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

This thesis explores the role of recognition in religious pluralism. It outlines what it means to recognize one’s religious neighbors, and it asks how people can live well together in religiously diverse societies. Drawing on the work of political theorists Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth, this thesis acknowledges the role of recognition in the formation of identity and community. Recognition means understanding what a person has in common with their neighbors. Yet, recognition also requires an acknowledgement of what makes people and their faiths distinct. In the process of recognizing both similarities and differences, one is also being recognized. This means that recognition may impact how a person understands him or herself. Building on the work of social theorists and theologians, this thesis explores the importance of and the challenges of recognizing common ground, differences, and one’s self.

MA (Master of Arts)
religious pluralism, religious diversity, interfaith, recognition
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