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Considering ComparisonA Method for Religious Studies$
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Oliver Freiberger

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199965007

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199965007.001.0001

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Comparison in Theory: A Scholar-Centered Approach

Comparison in Theory: A Scholar-Centered Approach

(p.81) 3 Comparison in Theory: A Scholar-Centered Approach
Considering Comparison

Oliver Freiberger

Oxford University Press

Incorporating the insights gained from discussing the postmodernist and postcolonialist critiques as well as the naturalistic approaches in Chapter 2, this chapter explores the epistemology of comparison. It takes a close look at the origin and genesis of the comparands and the tertium comparationis as well as their mutual relationship, arguing that they have been connected to each other in the mind of the scholar and/or in the academic discourse long before the actual comparative study begins. It explores how items are being delineated and distinguished from their context by identifying both empirical and theoretical properties in view of them becoming comparands. It also reflects upon the role of the tertium comparationis, the point in view of which items are compared. Finally, the chapter proposes a scholar-centered approach to comparative methodology that takes the situatedness of the scholar seriously but also acknowledges her or his agency in conducting a comparative study.

Keywords:   comparand, tertium comparationis, comparability, methodology, scholar-centered approach

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