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Teaching Interreligious Encounters$
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Marc A. Pugliese and Alex Y. Hwang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677565.001.0001

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Masao Abe and Comparative Theology

Masao Abe and Comparative Theology

(p.25) 2 Masao Abe and Comparative Theology
Teaching Interreligious Encounters

Leo D. Lefebure

Oxford University Press

A leading form of comparative theology entails commitment to one religious tradition but ventures out to encounter another tradition, with the goal of generating fresh insights into familiar beliefs and practices reliant upon both the tradition of origin and the newly encountered faith tradition. This chapter, based on a graduate course at Georgetown University, examines how Zen Buddhist thinker Masao Abe engages in a dialogue with Western philosophy and Christian theology. Abe interpreted the meaning of the kenosis (emptying) of God in Jesus Christ in Christian theology in light of Mahayana Buddhist perspectives on Sunyata (emptying) and the logic of negation. The chapter includes responses to Abe from various Christian theologians, including Georgetown graduate students.

Keywords:   Masao Abe, Western philosophy, kenosis, negation, Zen, Buddhism, Mahayana, comparative theology

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