Discourse and Practice strives to stretch the boundaries of commonly accepted notions of philosophical discourse in order to introduce comparative considerations. It is united by a concern to tease out the philosophical discourse and practices which inhere in seemingly unphilosophical "texts. " These texts range from ethnographical materials to mythical and fictive narratives, and finally, to explicitly theoretical traditions. Each author, in attending to the details of his or her area study, strives to demonstrate the implicit and explicit philosophical agendas at play. The comparative examples offer valuable insights for how discourse can be redefined. One consistent assumption presented here is that the element of practice, which has long been posed in opposition to theory, must be treated as an integral aspect of the philosophical import of any tradition.
Historical traditions covered include East Asia, Papua New Guinea, and Tibet as well as the more familiar territory of Western disciplinary fields.
Frank Reynolds is Professor of History of Religions and Buddhist Studies and David Tracy is Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor of Catholic Studies and Theology at The Divinity School at The University of Chicago. They are the editors of Myth and Philosophy also published by SUNY Press.
"I believe that Discourse and Practice is a work of considerable significance which opens the way to a vital and progressive view of philosophy of religion reconsidered. It provides a much needed antidote to traditional (and sometimes sterile) treatments of philosophy of religion from purely Western approaches. It shows how 'others' may be seen to have theoretical awareness and interpretive structures of their own, rather than just being the 'objects' of investigation from Western perspectives. Each essay combines theoretical interest with specific details from the writers' specialty. " — Frank J. Hoffman, West Chester University
"Every scholar concerned with the methodological and analytical issues of doing comparative studies in religion and philosophy will have to take into account this and other volumes in the series. " —Richard J. Parmentier, Brandeis University