14. Claims for a Plurality of Knowledges in the Comparative Study of Religions
Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion - In Celebration of Tim Jensen’s 65th Birthday - Peter Antes
Donald Wiebe [+]
University of Toronto
Donald Wiebe is Professor of Philosophy of Religion in Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Religion and Truth: Towards and Alternative Paradigm for the Study of Religion (De Gruyter, 1981), The Irony of Theology and the Nature of Religious Thought (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991), Beyond Legitimation: Essays on the Problem of Religious Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 1994), The Politics of Religious Studies: The Continuing Conflict with Theology in the Academy (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999) and The Learned Practice of Religion in the Modern University (Bloomsbury, 2019).
My concern in this paper is with the suggestions that the study of religion in the modern research university context must be open to a ‘plurality of knowledges.’ Such ‘knowledges,’ I argue, are ‘alien’ to the academy and that the only legitimate knowledge concerning religions in that context is scientific knowledge of the kind sought by the natural and social sciences, namely, intersubjectively testable propositional knowledge (empirical and theoretical) about religious thought, practice, and behaviour.