Texts, Doctrines and Traditions

Believers combine texts, doctrines and religious traditions in different ways according to community needs, be they spiritual or practical. Texts, doctrines and traditions define the collective dimension of religion and the negotiation of truth and identity within and between communities.

In this research line, we investigate the ancient, modern and contemporary sources of belief for religious communities, working on influential official or non-official texts and doctrines from individual or collective authors. Special attention is given to normative codes and religious laws considered from the outlook of social change and innovation, since human agency is the final decision maker in religious matters, as the philosopher Heiner Bielefeldt state din his special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief at UN:

«Although most religions claim a transcendent — and in this sense ‘trans-human’ — origin, religious sources and normative codes of conduct always accommodate different readings that are actively undertaken by human beings. Thus, human agency is inevitably involved in interpreting religious traditions, dogmas, laws or identities. (…) Whatever the ultimate origins of a religious belief are thought to be, human beings bear in any case responsibility for the practical consequences that they draw from the interpretation of their faith.»

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