Interreligious Learning, Ricoeur, and the Problem of Testimonial and Hermeneutical Injustice

Marianne Moyaert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ricoeur's philosophy of religion as well as his suggestion that we may consider interreligious dialogue as a specific form of linguistic hospitality has inspired many to think through the challenges of interfaith learning in a post-secular age. I am one of those scholars who have found Ricoeur a particularly helpful conversation partner as I sought to create a nonviolent and transformative space of encounter in my interreligious classroom. In this article, I elaborate on how my lived experiences as an interreligious educator have made me wonder if Ricoeur's philosophy of religion and his plea for interreligious hospitality are not actually limiting the critical potential of interreligious education. Ricoeur's interreligious hermeneutics strongly resonates with a modern (Protestant) understanding of religion and its implicit, normative distinction between good (mature) and bad (immature) religiosity, which to this day belongs to the sociopolitical imagination of the majority in most Western European countries (this is certainly true for the Netherlands). It has been my pedagogical experience that this distinction between good and bad religion contributes to and reinforces testimonial and hermeneutical injustice in my classroom, which results in the marginalization of some of my students, especially those whose religious practice does not fit the understanding of what religion ought to be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-223
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Nationalism Memory and Language Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • critical hermeneutics
  • interfaith education
  • interreligious dialogue
  • Miranda Fricker
  • religious diversity


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