Global Religious History and Religious Comparison, edited by Julian Strube

This special issue proposes concrete methodological steps to constructively advance debates on one of the most contentious issues in religious studies, namely religious comparison. The contributions result from ongoing conversations about combining approaches from religious studies, global history, and area studies under the heading of Global Religious History, or Global History of Religion (globale Religionsgeschichte). A programmatic introduction outlines the state of scholarship and the theoretical and methodological foundations for rethinking religious comparison. A major goal is to avoid both “classical” Eurocentric perspectives and some tendencies within the postcolonial spectrum that arguably mirror Eurocentric shortcomings, such as unilateral cultural diffusionism and incommensurability. The articles revolve around key issues such as genealogy, entangled and decentered historiography, and translation. They focus on different time periods and geographical areas, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present, and from Europe, Africa, and the Arab-speaking world to the (South-)East of Asia.

Table of Content:

  • Julian Strube, Global Religious History and Religious Comparison
  • Christoph Kleine, When Christianity became a Shūshi
  • Michael Bergunder, Encounters of the Brahmanical Sanskrit Tradition
  • Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz, Nga rang gi chos khyod rang gi chos
  • Julian Strube, Religious Comparativism, Esotericism, and the Global Occult
  • Judith Bachmann, Materialization through Global Comparisons
  • Jessica A. Albrecht, Sita in Cultural Translation
  • Giovanni Maltese, Phallogocentrism, Global Entanglements and Comparison
  • Florian Zemmin, The Potentials and Limits of Going Global


Free Contributions: 

  • Bettina E. Schmidt / Kate Stockly, The Fruits of Spiritual Experiences during the Pandemic: COVID-19 and the Effects of Non-Ordinary Experiences
  • Edda Wolff, Listening out for God’s Breath – a Negative Hermeneutical Approach to Mysticism
  • Barbora Spalová / Adam Gajdoš, Ritual Innovations and Repertoires of Belonging in Czech and Slovak Christian Communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic