Inter- and intra-religious competitions are recognized phenomena. Generally speaking, they are seen as antagonisms revolving around religious “truth,” monopolization of the claim to the original message, possession of the fundamentals (as well as struggles for control over sacred sites and offices.)
Written By Gideon Aran
At times these conflicts escalate to Holy Wars, Religious Wars, Crusades. Jihad, etc. In our case, though, we are speaking of competition between partners who might share a religious doctrine, who do not necessarily have exegetical disagreements or overt rivalries over privileges and positions of prestige and authority.
Moreover, we are concerned here with a contest which is not conceived in “zero-sum” terms, and consequently is not necessarily militant, let alone physically violent, but more restrained and subtle, reminiscent of various social competitions in ethnic or class groups: who is more patriotic, more aristocratic and so forth. The present issue relates not merely to worldview or power, but also to performance.
Thus, in Judaism – clearly a performative religious culture – one should expect relatively explicit scaling. The Jewish case is indeed especially appropriate for testing hypotheses about religious scaling and illustrating it. Naturally different religions might vary in their understanding of the issue of scaling and in their manifestation thereof.