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Naming the Unnameable? Theological Language and the Academic Study of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is an introduction to the problem of naming. Students of religious studies would be wise to consider incorporating general inclusive theological language into their essay writing. Two specific articles about inclusive language find a mention. The first was on the general use of gender inclusive terminology within the academy, the second promoted the use of gender-neutral God-language. The chapter tries to answer the question, by what name should academic students of religion, know the unknowable? There is a discussion on the gender-neutral God-language. The student of religion should not contribute to the content of theological debates. "Theological" does not mean just Christian theology. The chapter also discusses "Critical pluralism". There is no need to search for the proper name for the object of religious worship or reflection. To name the unnameable is to participate in a theological enterprise inappropriate for Religious Studies.

Keywords: academic study; Christian theology; God-language; theological language



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