Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Paul Nesbitt-Larking

2nd Supervisor

Todd Townshend

Joint Supervisor


In search of a hermeneutic that is dialogical, transcending one’s own realm of understanding to give enough space to the other, the theory of dialogical self provides a framework which is not only able to engage mutually incompatible traditions but inculcates a whole new insight into considering that the other is not completely external to the self. One of the most significant features of theory of dialogical self is that it is devised in the conviction that insight into the workings of the human self requires cross-fertilization between different fields. The thesis therefore employs social-psychology, religious studies, inter-cultural studies, theology and philosophy to study the phenomenon of religious diversity. Within this theoretical framework, the thesis includes an empirical study conducted among Hindu Nepalis in Toronto, analyzing their encounter with people of other religious traditions and their attitudes towards them. Complementing the empirical analysis is Panikkar’s Cosmotheandric vision which functions on the premise that the whole of reality is integrated – cosmos, theos and anthropos. This paradigm helps to explain religious diversity and combined with the insights learned from the empirical research illustrates how the other is indispensible in dialogue. This thesis concludes with an elaboration of a dialogical hermeneutic of a Hindu-Christian.