John Hick's philosophy of religious pluralism - A Critical Examination

Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 8 (1):167-180 (1970)
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Abstract

The philosophical challenge that religious diversity poses for religious belief has become in recent years the focal point of a very engaging theological and philosophical debate. The debate began in the Christian context and it would be fair to say that its main issue remains the relationship of Christianity to other major religions. Traditionally Christian thinkers faced with the fact of religious plurality have assumed that Christianity is the only way to salvation, and the truth-claims of other religions can be refuted by way of argument. This position is described today as 'exclusivist'. John Hick's name has become synonymous with a radically different approach to the whole issue. Hick argues that all religious traditions make contact with the same Ultimate Reality, each encountering it through a variety of culturally shaped forms of thought and experience, but all offering equally effective paths to 'salvation/liberation'. Hick's pluralistic hypothesis, although very popular in some quarters, appears to many Christian and non-Christian thinkers as highly controversial.

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Janusz Salamon
Charles University, Prague

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