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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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Discourse Comparison: An Approach and a Case Study

Discourse Comparison: An Approach and a Case Study

(p.167) 5 Discourse Comparison: An Approach and a Case Study
Considering Comparison

Oliver Freiberger

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces a comparative approach that the author calls discourse comparison. The approach focuses on the discursive context of the comparands and highlights the plurality of voices, tensions, and conflicts, or simply the heterogeneity of opinions that are expressed in the sources about the studied phenomenon. To exemplify this approach the chapter presents, as a case study, the author’s earlier work on ascetic discourses in early Brahmanical and early Christian texts. At the same time, it analyzes this study along the lines of the methodological framework proposed in Chapter 3 in order to demonstrate the ways in which the terminology of the framework can be applied to a concrete comparative study. A concluding section recapitulates the argument of the book and summarizes what the author regards as the contribution that it makes to the methodological discourse in the study of religion.

Keywords:   discourse comparison, decontextualization, essentialization, asceticism, Brahmanism, early Christianity

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