Journal Article

Axial Age Theorising and the Comparative Study of Religion and Literature

Eric Ziolkowski

in Literature and Theology

Volume 28, issue 2, pages 129-150
Published in print June 2014 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/fru032
Axial Age Theorising and the Comparative Study of Religion and Literature

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Karl Jaspers’ theory of the axial age has attracted renewed interest in recent years and constitutes a rich, potentially fruitful ground for exploration by theologians and scholars of religion and literature interested in ‘scriptural reasoning’. Yet rather than to construe our times as a second axial age, as some do, it may be more appropriate to think of ours as an ‘age of comparison’. This article considers the dual histories of comparative literature and comparative religion leading up to the current theoretical impasse where comparativism is questioned, yet essential for the advancement of religion and literature as an area of study.

Journal Article.  10572 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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