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Document Details :
Title: Transforming Religious Plurality
Subtitle: Anxiety and Differentiation in Religious 'Families of Origin'
Author(s): LERON SHULTS, F.
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Date: 2010
Observing that religious communities are somewhat like families is nothing new. However, integrating the insights of family systems theory into the study of religion can enhance our understanding of religious plurality, specifically of the emotional dynamics that surreptitiously shape encounters of otherness within and across religious 'families of origin.' Approaching the phenomena from this scientific point of view focuses our attention on and provides clarification of a dimension that is often insufficiently treated in theoretical formulations about pluralistic encounters: our feeling of and for religious difference. It also discloses a psychological strategy for facilitating healthier engagements by 'detriangling' religious anxiety through the 'differentiation' of religious selves. Finally, this interdisciplinary effort opens up conceptual (and pragmatic) space for proposing a theological strategy as well: the detriangulation of infinity in public discourse about religion.