Gadamer’s Fusion of Horizons & al-Biruni

Kemal Ataman

In studying an alien culture, therefore, it is not enough for the student of religion merely to read that tradition’s sources; he or she has the ethical obligation of trying to read and understand them from that tradition’s own epistemological point of view as well. For as indicated in W.C. Smith’s well known maxim, no statement about a religion is valid unless it can be acknowledged by that religion’s believers. This approach presupposes a will to interpret and understand other religions in their own terms without losing allegiance to one’s own.

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Original publication: Understanding other religions : al-Biruni’s and Gadamer’s “fusion of horizons”. Washington DC, The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2008.