In the introductive chapter to the volume, I place the studies presented in the volume within the most relevant scholarly contexts: first and foremost, the studies in Wittgenstein interpretation, especially of Wittgenstein on ‘religion’, ‘belief’, and related concepts; and second, the recent versions of Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion and Wittgensteinian theology. I do this by offering a way to read Wittgenstein on religion through tracing four conceptions or ‘pictures’ of religion in Wittgenstein’s thought, which have a particular place in Wittgenstein’s specific understanding of philosophy as grammatical investigation. I show how the studies in the current volume relate to previous applications of Wittgenstein to the study of interreligious encounter, communication, disagreement, and related topics, and suggest how they are connected to some of the recent debates in religious studies, comparative theology, and comparative philosophy of religion more broadly.
This volume argues that Wittgenstein’s philosophy of religion and his thought in general continue to be highly relevant for present and future research on interreligious relations. Spanning several (sub)disciplines – from philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, comparative philosophy, comparative theology, to religious studies – the contributions engage with recent developments in interpretation of Wittgenstein and those in the philosophy and theology of interreligious encounter. The book shows that there is an important and under-explored potential for constructive and fruitful engagement between these academic fields. It explores, and attempts to realize, some of this potential by involving both philosophers and theologians, and critically assesses previous applications of Wittgenstein’s work in interreligious studies.
Contributors are Gorazd Andrejč, Guy Bennett-Hunter, Mikel Burley, Thomas D. Carroll, Paul Cortois, Rhiannon Grant, Randy Ramal, Klaus von Stosch, Varja Štrajn, Nuno Venturinha, Sebastjan Vörös and Daniel H. Weiss.