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Recognition and ReligionA Historical and Systematic Study$
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Risto Saarinen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791966.001.0001

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Recognition in Religion

Recognition in Religion

A Systematic Outline

(p.184) 4 Recognition in Religion
Recognition and Religion

Risto Saarinen

Oxford University Press

This chapter defines three historical paradigms of religious recognition, that is, (i) patristic conversion narrative, (ii) medieval and early modern promise of self-preservation, and (iii) the existential attachment of modernity. All three paradigms highlight the transformation of the recognizing subject in distinctive ways. In this manner, religious recognition differs from its post-Hegelian philosophical counterpart, which emphasizes the status change of the recognized object. In spite of this difference, both philosophical and theological views of mutual recognition can be understood as complementary to the modern virtues of autonomy and toleration. Moreover, the premodern traditions of bridal mysticism and religious self-recognition anticipate some Hegelian views. As religious recognition is deeply heteronomous and consists of interpersonal acts, it equips the religious person with an understanding of relationality and otherness. The chapter also discusses the special issues of gift exchange and self-recognition.

Keywords:   conversion, promise, self-preservation, attachment, status change, gift exchange, self-recognition, toleration, autonomy

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