Interreligious Hermeneutics, Prejudice, and the Problem of Testimonial Injustice

Marianne Moyaert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


As interreligious educators we challenge our students to engage in hermeneutical self-reflection. In this article, I turn the tables, and engage in an exercise of reflective practice: I look back on my own pedagogy, consider my own religiously diverse classroom, and ask in what way the theoretical framework from which I approach interreligious learning has facilitated and hindered the learning process of my students. I especially inquire into chances and limits of the hermeneutical approach of interreligious learning, an approach with which I identify. I will first elaborate on the importance of the so-called hermeneutical approach to interreligious learning and dwell on my own appropriation of this approach. Here the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur and his hermeneutical anthropology will occupy center stage. Next, and triggered by my own experiences as an interfaith educator, I will argue that the hermeneutical approach to interreligious learning has a tendency to level relations between self and other and falls short when it comes to reckoning with unequal power relations. I will illustrate this shortcoming on the basis of a concrete case of testimonial injustice that has occurred in my classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-623
Number of pages15
JournalReligious Education
Issue number5
Early online date22 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019


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