Gadamer, Play, and Interreligious Dialogue as the Opening of Horizons

Gadamer, Play, and Interreligious Dialogue as the Opening of Horizons

by Paul Hedges – [ Journal of Dialogue Studies Vol 4 ]

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Abstract

This paper explores the potential use of Gadamer’s hermeneutical concept of play as a tool to understand and explore interreligious dialogue. In particular it brings this into a discussion about interreligious dialogue understood as theological or spiritual encounter and exchange, especially in the form of Comparative Theology. Thinkers like David Tracy and Ludwig Wittgenstein are engaged for their related discussions, while Gadamer’s own concept of the Fusion of Horizons, which it is argued is best expressed as the Opening of Horizons in this context, is used to show how and why such dialogue is justified in hermeneutical theory. It is argued that play provides a useful model both for understanding the seriousness of interreligious dialogue but also how it stands apart from yet elides with many traditional perspectives within religious traditions.
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