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Document Details :
Title: Comparative Spirituality and Literary Theory
Subtitle: Laying the Groundwork towards a Scientific Inquiry
Author(s): OFILADA MINA, Macario
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 12 Date: 2000
Comparison is natural for us humans. For us operating within the Christian tradition, comparative spirituality would be enriching and would prove to be a worthwhile scientific endeavor. However, there is a need to establish, first and foremost, spirituality and mysticism as scientific disciplines starting with the mystical or spiritual texts themselves. In this programmatic article, which stands in need of the contextualizing contribution of history and phenomenology of religions, we discuss the necessity of applying literary theory and criticism to the mystical or spiritual texts in line with the necessary starting point of any comparative venture in spirituality: that of situating ourselves properly in our vely own tradition or simply put, self-knowledge. This enables us for dialogue, which goes beyond the infantilism of instinctive comparison out of curiosity or the natural penchant of empirical data gatherers.