Religious diversity has emerged as a new scholarly field, but historically, and especially beyond a Western sphere, religious diversity has been the norm of most lived religion. As such, a focus on diversity is a perspective revealing monolithic traditions as particular and constructed, rather than universal and essential. Diversity has been used in emic frameworks for discursive and institutional legitimation. Religious traditions have oscillated between different types of diversities and unities in strategic identification and authority narratives. This article will present examples of such inter- and intra-religious unity and diversity representations from Asian (Buddhist, Hindu, Chinese and Japanese) philosophical and sociological contexts in a historical and comparative perspective. While acknowledging post-orientalist theories and critical discourse analyses, it also discusses the importance of seeing such negotiations of diversities as quintessential ingredients of lived religion.
Myōshinji, a living religion
Edited by Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger
Eastspirit: Transnational Spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West describes and analyses such concepts, practices and traditions in their new ‘Western’ and global contexts as well as in their transformed expressions and reappropriations in religious traditions and individualized spiritualities ‘back in the East’ within the framework of mutual interaction and circulation, regionally and globally.