Author: Eric ZIOLKOWSKI, Professor, Lafayette College
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 paper considers the dual histories of comparative literature and comparative religion leading up to the current theoretical impasse where comparativism is questioned, yet is essential for the advancement of religion and literature as an area of study.
axial age, comparativism, scriptural reasoning, Karl Jaspers
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