The Comparison Project

The Comparison Project is an experimental effort in a philosophy of religion that is historically grounded and religiously diverse. Our core programming consists of an biennial series of lectures, dialogues, and comparisons on a common religious theme. We work with the religious communities of greater Des Moines to create digital stories by and about them. And students in our comparative religion classes generate supplementary resources to complement our core programming.

Our Next Event:

“That From Which All Words Return”: The Distinctive Methods of Language Utilization in Hinduism’s Philosophical Tradition of Advaita Vedanta

Lecture by Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion, St. Olaf College Thursday, October 9, 7:00 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center Advaita is a non-dual Vedānta tradition within Hinduism, based on an exegesis of the Upaniṣads, the final sections of the Vedas. Its principal systematizer and exponent is Śaṅkara (ca. 8th CE). Advaita regards the words of …read more


When Expression Is Expressed, Non-Expression Is Not-Expressed: A Zen Buddhist Approach To Talking About The Ineffable

Thursday, September 18th, 7:00 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center Lecture by Gereon Kopf, Associate Professor of Religion, Luther College Philosophy of religion as developed in the monotheistic traditions of Christianity and Islam explores the question as to if/how it is possible to talk about and predicate God. One of the answers to this question is negative …read more

Student Comparisons and Evaluations (Spring 2014 Philosophy of Religion Course)

Professor Knepper’s Spring 2104 Philosophy of Religion course looked at discourses of ineffability in Chinese Daoism, West African Religion (of the dozos), Sikhism, and Christian mysticism.  In their final papers they were asked to describe and compare several of these discourses, then both to explain their commonalities and differences and to evaluate the general claim …read more

Meditation Workshop and Dialogue

Saturday, September 6, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. First Christian Church, 2500 University Avenue, Des Moines Learn to Meditate! You are invited to participate in a meditation workshop on Saturday, September 6. The event features six local meditation instructors, each of whom will teach classes on their meditative practice, then engage in dialogue with one …read more