Browsing by Author "Ruparell, Tinu"
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- ItemOpen AccessA taste of the divine: Rasa and transcendence in dialogue(2006) Subramani, Vijaya; Ruparell, Tinu
- ItemOpen AccessAll My Relations: A Process-Indigenous Study In Comparative Ontology(2013-01-07) Daniels, Christopher Paul; Ruparell, TinuOver the past few decades, issues associated with how to understand the diversity of religions and the religious ‘other’ have been at the forefront of Religious Studies. There have been numerous critiques of both the ‘New Comparative Theology,’ which advocates practical engagement in dialogue and/or textual comparison between traditions, and ‘Theologies of Religions,’ which is a more theoretical approach to how the diversity of religions are, or should be, understood. These critiques have centred around accusations of imperialistic hegemony, the use and reification of categories, and whether the variety of religions can, or should, be understood in a manner that acknowledges rough equality in epistemic and soteriological value. This thesis argues that the particular theological perspective and methodology of John Cobb Jr., based on the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, manages to avoid most, if not all, such critiques by advocating a form of complementary, transformationist, pluralism. Cobb understands the diversity of religious perspectives as potentially complementary rather than contradictory, and argues for mutual transformation of the traditions involved, based on the understanding that each has something to be learned from the other. The process approach and perspective presupposed by Cobb is not only uniquely suited to address the issues of religious diversity but also promotes equal openness to the religious ‘other.’ To illustrate this, I undertake a comparative experiment between a Whiteheadian metaphysic and Indigenous ontology to show that a process based, relational metaphysic is better capable of interpreting and accommodating Indigenous ontology/epistemology than the traditional Western, materialistic/mechanistic view. The experiment reveals how universal relationality and interconnectedness in process terms are exemplified through various Indigenous concepts, language structures, cultural and religious practices, and epistemology. I contend that process thought not only provides a better understanding of religious pluralism but also meets the challenge posed by Indigenous scholars who call for a Western perspective that reconciles the contemporary worldview of science with the relational ontology of Indigenous cultures and facilitates a recognition of Indigenous peoples as equal partners in inter-religious and inter-cultural encounters and dialogue.
- ItemOpen AccessDirect Moral Standing and Regan's Lifeboat Cases(2018-06-29) Kary, Daniel Austin; Framarin, Christopher G.; Ereshefsky, Marc; Habib, Allen; McShane, Katie; Ruparell, TinuTom Regan claims that all entities he calls “subjects-of-lives”, including humans, dogs, and many other non-human animals, have equal inherent value. He claims that entities have direct moral standing in virtue of having inherent value. If he is right, it suggests that all subjects-of-lives have equal direct moral standing. To say that an entity has direct moral standing is to say that there are possible circumstances in which agents morally ought to consider an entity for its own sake when deciding what to do. Regan considers a lifeboat case and prescribes that a human being should be saved over a dog. This is not obviously consistent with the claim that all subjects-of-lives have equal direct moral standing. This might be resolved by citing the greater intrinsic value of human experiences. Regan also considers a second lifeboat case and prescribes that a human being should be saved over a million dogs. As a number of authors have noted, this claim seems difficult to reconcile with the claim that all subjects-of-lives have equal inherent value. In this dissertation, I consider a number of strategies that Regan might adopt to deal with this tension and assess the impact of each on his broader account. This second lifeboat case cannot be explained in the way that the first is explained , by citing the greater intrinsic value of human experiences, since the number of dog experiences is so great. An alternative strategy argues that inherent value comes in degrees, depending on the number of capacities that an entity possesses, and the degree to which they possess them. This would make human inherent value much greater than that of dogs. This strategy, however, would require that Regan abandon his claim that all subjects-of-lives have equal inherent value. Additionally, the prescription in the second lifeboat case would remain implausible, since the inherent value of the human being cannot be greater than the inherent value of one million dogs. An alternative strategy claims that the combined intrinsic value of dogs' experiences is not additive, on the grounds that the experiences lack variety. If this strategy succeeds, it might be possible to explain how the intrinsic value of a human being’s experiences is greater than the combined intrinsic value a million dogs experiences. This would explain his prescription in the second lifeboat case. It seems, however, that dog experiences are diverse enough, especially when they are possessed by different dogs, to continue to add intrinsic value to the whole of the intrinsic value of the experiences of dogs. Since these strategies fail, with no obvious alternative to justify Regan’s prescription in the second lifeboat case, I conclude that Regan’s prescription in this case is morally wrong. I conclude that while humans have significantly more inherent value than other entities, and while human experiences are significantly more intrinsically valuable, they are not immeasurably more valuable than other animals and their experiences.
- ItemOpen AccessImplements of enlightenment: indirect instruction in the yoga vasistha(2007) McGee, John; Ruparell, TinuThis study starts with Northrop Frye's notion that good teaching is ironic or indirect, in the sense that it engages the student and does not simply supply him or her with answers. I take this notion and apply it to the foga Vasistha, a Hindu scripture written between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries CE. This text teaches through a combination of philosophical discourse, storytelling, and dialogue, and I explore how each of these, as it operates in the text, constitutes an indirect mode of instruction, wherein there is no opportunity for a passive or uncritical acceptance of teachings, and where the student is ultimately obligated to embark on his or her own journey of, or toward, understanding.
- ItemOpen AccessMapping dialogue: hybridized identity and interreligious dialogue(2007) Williams, Ryan J.; Ruparell, Tinu
- ItemOpen AccessObligations of Faith: Understanding the Place of Religion in the Context of Canadian Multiculturalism(2018-01-12) Ferrey, Jenna; Ruparell, Tinu; Hexham, Irving; Koshan, JenniferThis dissertation explores how religion is understood in the context of Canadian multiculturalism. While Canadians seem to have a fairly high level of comfort with ethnic, or linguistic diversity, religion presents a stumbling block in both political and social contexts. We are taught it is impolite to talk about religion, and many Canadians are uncomfortable with these discussions. This makes the place of religion in the public sphere unclear. Realities of diversity and pluralism inevitably lead to instances of miscommunication, uncertainty and conflict. Multiculturalism serves as strong a political tool and policy. However, it serious challenges reveal limitations of multiculturalism as both a philosophy and a policy, particularly as it pertains to religion. An appeal to Charles Taylor’s understanding of secularism, which asserts that no particular position of belief or unbelief is privileged and that all are equally contestable, serves as the definition from which our conceptual and legal tools can be most effective. Reasonable accommodation and the politics of recognition have become the primary methods of understanding and negotiating religious diversity in Canada. While both of these notions are ultimately flawed, this dissertation argues that they have utility insofar as they are tempered with a Levinasian commitment to the other, and an openness to narrative and dialogue. Cultural and religious diversity are simply realities in the increasingly globalised world and it is important that we have strong philosophical foundations that allow for pragmatic and effective methods of problem solving and conflict resolution.
- ItemOpen AccessReimagining India: communal politics and the Hindu right(2007) McGee, Jeremy A.; Ruparell, Tinu
- ItemOpen AccessŚaṅkara on Kramamukti(2020-08-31) Peat, Campbell S.; Framarin, Christopher G.; Rohlman, Elizabeth; Ruparell, Tinu; Fantl, Jeremy; Dalal, NeilThe Hindu theologian Śaṅkara reads scripture to say that people attain liberation when they comprehend brahman (God). Some authors claim that Śaṅkara has an extremely narrow view of who can attain liberation. These scholars argue that male brāhmaṇa saṃnyāsins (renunciates from the priestly class) are the only individuals who might attain liberation within Śaṅkara’s system of thought. Others argue for a more inclusive conception of Śaṅkara’s soteriology, according to which members of other groups might attain liberation as well. All of these scholars, however, tend to focus on sadyomukti (immediate liberation). In this dissertation, I consider Śaṅkara’s account of a second path to liberation – kramamukti (gradual liberation). I argue that Śaṅkara’s account of kramamukti makes his soteriology much more inclusive than most scholars tend to acknowledge. Kramamukti is a path to liberation by which devotees attain liberation after they die, while residing in a heaven called brahmaloka (the heaven of brahman). In order to attain brahmaloka, according to Śaṅkara, devotees must meditate on rituals, metaphysical doctrines, syllables, or deities. Śaṅkara’s view is that eligibility for kramamukti is a function of a person’s eligibility for brahmaloka. Since Śaṅkara allows that women, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas (members of the ruler class), vaiśyas (members of the merchant class), śūdras (members of the servant class), brahmacārins (students), gṛhasthins (householders), vānaprasthins (forest dwellers), and saṃnyāsins can attain brahmaloka, he allows that women, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, brahmacārins, gṛhasthins, vānaprasthins and saṃnyāsins might attain liberation by means of kramamukti. Analysis of Śaṅkara’s account of kramamukti demonstrates that he holds that nearly anyone might go to brahmaloka and attain liberation by means of kramamukti. I also argue that my analysis is finally consistent with the work of most of the scholars whose work I consider – so long as they are taken to advance accounts of who might attain liberation by means of sadyomukti.
- ItemOpen AccessScience and Sibyls: An Exploration of Consultation of Sibylline Books at Rome(2019-04-16) Bertram, Kathrine Agnes; Driediger-Murphy, Lindsay Gayle; Hume, James Rutherford; Ruparell, TinuThis thesis explores the consultation of the Sibylline Books at Rome in relation to six characteristics of science. The characteristics considered are “Expertise”, “Analysis”, “Regimentation”, “Record Keeping”, “Defined Scope”, and “Observation”. It is argued that all of these characteristics are displayed in consultation of the Sibylline Books, although to varying degrees. It is further demonstrated that consultation of the Sibylline Books influenced Roman public policy in much the same way that science affects public opinion and policy today.
- ItemOpen AccessSlavoj Zizek, Radical Theology, and the Materialist Defense of Christianity(2016) Fishley, Daniel; Ruparell, Tinu; Ruparell, Tinu; Joy, Morny; Moran, BrendanThis thesis explores the theological assertions of the philosopher Slavoj Žižek. Žižek, an atheist and a materialist, has produced a rather substantial body of work concerning Christianity in general and Christian theology specifically. My aim here is several. First, to provide an intellectual portrait of the dominant themes and ideas that emerge from Žižek’s earliest writings to his most recent. Second, to show how certain tensions which emerged in these earlier writings provided the impetus for his later interest to Christian theology. As well, I will argue that Žižek’s specific form of Christian theology echoes the themes and tensions announced by Radical theology, I shall show this via a study of the dominant themes that are prevalent in Thomas Altizer’s Death of God Theology. Finally, in my analysis of Žižek’s various theological claims I set out to describe the actual form of Christianity which surfaces from Žižek’s encounter with Christianity, by asking: what is the image of Christ that emerges from Žižek’s analysis? Why did Christ incarnate in flesh and have to die according to Žižek’s theology? And what does it mean to be a Christian, transformed by Christ, resulting from the interaction between Žižek and Christian theology?
- ItemOpen AccessThe Latter-day Saint Talk as an I-Thou Relational Event(2023-08) Stringham, Kristine F.; Ruparell, Tinu; Wright, David Curtis; Palacios, Joy Kathleen; Rohlman, ElizabethSuspicion of religion is prevalent in modern culture, but many people seem to find meaning and purpose through active participation in a religious community. Is creative growth possible for individuals who adhere to faith traditions? How does the tension between personal autonomy and institutional authority, particularly in a hierarchical church, play out in a way that facilitates opportunity for genuine dialogue? To explore these questions, I focus on a specific practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, i.e., the talk. This understudied phenomenon, which involves lay members instructing one another, warrants more attention. I leverage the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans Georg Gadamer, particularly his concept of play [Spiel] to study how the rules of giving talks are set and practiced within the hierarchical structure of the church. I argue that there is space for genuine creativity for participants within these boundaries. To address the experiential possibilities for transcendent religious experience in this space, I rely on Martin Buber’s writings on community to provide a framework for the 'suprasensual' knowledge that can be gained (Buber 2016, 8). Buber argues that transformational relationships are facilitated through community as people move from I-It encounters into I-Thou relations through dialogue. I conceptually analyze talks from the highest-ranking leaders of the church, in addition to four representative talks given by local church members. My study develops a hermeneutic for how to recover a more nuanced understanding of the role of religious organizations as a place where the purported experience of transcendence is mediated through community and in doing so fills a gap in the scholarship of the Latter-day Saints.
- ItemOpen AccessThe scholar as jazz musician: exploring the role of creativity in the academic study of religion(2009) Benoit, Aimee-Jo Elizabeth; Ruparell, Tinu
- ItemOpen AccessToward a Hermeneutic of Religion in the Public Sphere: Encouraging a Robust Public Discourse(2015-08-05) Napier, Jonathan; Ruparell, TinuTraditional religious communities view multiculturalism and other forms of liberal secularism as committed to relegating religious aspects of life to the irrelevant margins of civil society by excluding them from public discourse. Faced with such institutional and structural derision, what kinds of counter-strategies can religious communities develop to carve out a space for their continued existence and growth? By translating religious worldviews into secular terms, religious adherents are able to actively engage in public discourse and enter into the fray of the public sphere. However, engaging in public discourse in this way raises questions regarding religious identity and a tradition's integrity. My project will analyse the phenomenon of translation which can be utilised by religious communities to develop a hermeneutic to guide their engagement in political dialogue. As the role of religion continues to be debated in Canada, studying religious activity in the public sphere will continue to increase in importance. I suggest that the dynamics of translation provides a key to understanding such religious strategies and their effects on their constituents as well as on the broader society. Translation is a useful frame for studying this issue as it lends itself to relevant areas of inquiry. How meaning is derived, maintained, and communicated in different contexts can be analysed through hermeneutics. For my research, I will consider the hermeneutics of religion and translation by incorporating current work in the theory of dialogue and the public sphere. In this thesis I aim to produce a novel analysis on the religious tensions within the multicultural and secular Canadian society; clarify the tension underlying the deployment of translation as counterstrategies by religious adherents against secularism; demonstrate in what ways the redescription and reinterpretation necessitated by these translations indicate how we might move forward to a more pluralist society where religious, and other identities, are not forcibly submerged into a model of multiculturalism. The ultimate objective of my research will be to show how the resources of religious traditions may be better able to contribute positively to the Canadian multicultural experiment.
- ItemOpen AccessUnderstanding the guided hiking experience: a theatrical model of organizational performance and hiker reception(2006) Henning, Graham Keith; Ritchie, J. R. Brent; Ruparell, Tinu
- ItemOpen AccessWrestling With Religion: Freedom, Violence, and Ultimate Concern on the Theodramatic Stage(2023-08) Fieseler, Nicholas Leroy; Ruparell, Tinu; Adamek, Wendi; Palacios, Joy; Barton, Bruce; Markham, IanThe intersection of religion and popular culture is largely understood as imposing traditional forms of religion onto popular culture phenomena. This conception restricts the role of religion to preconceived and formalized expressions of belief systems without recognizing the potentially vast expanse the concept of religion entails. By applying the models of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theodrama and Rene Girard’s mimetic theory to popular culture, the distinction between areas deemed sacred and profane is diminished, making it possible to re-imagine aspects of religion in all areas of existence. This thesis explores religion implicit in the oft-ignored phenomenon of professional wrestling, through which a fresh understanding of moral behavior, and the appeal of “bad” actors on the theodramatic and wrestling stage, may be seen as expressions of religion discerned independent of formalized definitions and traditional restrictions. In this theodramatic re-imagining, the category of religion expands beyond its current narrow confines to include areas not normally deemed religious.