chapter  6
Religion, Ethics, and Ideology
Pages 13

As a form of critical inquiry, the comparative study of religion and ethics is not only concerned with the question of how, but also with the question of on whose behalf religions and moralities function. Religious-moral ideas and languages are always those of particular human communities in specic times and places. As such, they are inevitably linked to the interests of particular social groups. This fact presents us with a series of questions about the ideological functions of religion and morality. To what extent are a group’s ideas and values merely rationalizations of its own special interests? What role do religious-moral discourses play in struggles for power between dominant and oppositional groups? How are religion and morality involved in the exercise, legitimation, and concealment of domination along lines of class, race, gender, ethnicity, etc.?