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Title: Why Live with Only One Religion?
Subtitle: Some Notes on the Phenomenon of Multi-Religious Identity
Author(s): SCHMIDT-LEUKEL, Perry
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 30    Issue: 1   Date: 2020   
Pages: 1-19
DOI: 10.2143/SID.30.1.3288646

Abstract :
In western countries, it is often taken for granted that one can have just one religious affiliation. Yet this does not reflect the global reality and seems to be changing as a result of religious pluralization and interreligious encounter. In the first section this paper discusses the nature and spectrum of multireligious affiliation. It suggests that religious identity should be best understood as patchwork religiosity at the level of individuals and as syncretism at the level of traditions. Focusing on the religious individual, the second and the third sections look more closely at two types of dual religious identity, i.e. Buddhist-Christians and Buddhist-Jews. The examples are taken from highly reflective dual belongers in whose cases their hybrid identities have developed as a result of interreligious dialogue and are lived as what Raimon Panikkar once called 'intrareligious dialogue'. In their case, multireligious identity means a personal exploration of the compatibility of elements from both traditions and thereby represents a crucial concern of serious theological dialogue. In a sense, they live at a microcosmic level, the overall challenge emerging from dialogue for the religions at large: the further transformation of identities through reciprocal learning.

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