The task of this paper is to clarify the notion of pluralism and religiouspluralism against the background of disputations on the globalized challenges of religiouspluralism, for example the incompatibility between different conceptions of religiouspluralism, especially from the lens of a possible conversation on religiouspluralism between Jürgen Habermas and Emmanuel Levinas. With a detailed reading into the development of the conceptualization of religiouspluralism in each author, (...) addressing the questions such as what is genuine pluralism and on what ground the conflicts within religiouspluralism can be re-accounted, we make our passage from challenging the total reliance on political unification by the effort of Habermas, towards adopting a Levinasian alternative path that prioritizes ethical relation over individual ways of plurality in the realization of each one’s good life. Even though it can be acknowledged that Habermas raised the right question against the relativism way of seeing pluralism, it is by Levinas, the ontological ground of pluralism and the universal dimension of the plural are thought not only through justice and politics but more importantly, through a way of responding to the non-familiar tradition with love, where human religion has a single dimension that is the transcendental notion of charity and love. (shrink)
A fascinating collection of essays by leading scholars in the field engage with the idea of religiouspluralism mooted by John Hick to offer incisive insights on religiouspluralism and related themes and to address practical aspects such as interreligious spirituality and worship in a multi-faith context.
According to religiouspluralism, the profound differences among the chief objects of adoration in the great religious traditions are largely due to the different ways in which a single transcendent reality is experienced and conceived in human life. The most prominent developer and defender of religiouspluralism in the twentieth century is John Hick. Hick uses the expression ‘the Real’ to designate the transcendent reality ‘authentically experienced’ as the different gods and impersonal absolutes worshipped in (...) the major religious traditions. A central claim Hick makes is that, apart from some purely formal characteristics, the Real is ineffable in that the intrinsic properties making up its nature are beyond the scope of any human concepts. I explore this central claim and argue that it implies the dubious, if not incoherent, view that the Real in itself has neither one of many pairs of contradictory properties. (shrink)
Religious exclusivism is the biggest threat for multi-religious society at the same time, ambivalent thoughts among religion in religiouspluralism due to religious diversity often yields religious violence. In both of the extreme, (religious exclusivism and religiouspluralism) there is the possibility of religious violence, i.e., religious riots, terrorism, mob lynching, and communalism. The objective of this paper is to discuss the significance of interreligious dialogue (IRD), its basic principle, (...) how IRD will help us for addressing the problems of humanity (i.e., Religious diversity and contradictory thoughts in major religions, Religious Dogma, superstition, and terrorism). If there is any biggest challenge for religion in the 21st century, is this one that how religion can deal with these problems and became a good tool for establishing peace and prosperity in the region. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to cross-cultural philosophy of religion. It presents an alternative to Western-oriented philosophy of religion by focusing on questions of truth in the context of religiouspluralism, including the criteria, models, and hermeneutics of cross-cultural truth in religion. The essays included are by some of the leading philosophers of religion and scholars in comparative religious thought such as Ninian Smart, Raimundo Panikkar, Harold Coward, William Wainwright, William Christian Sr., and Frederick Streng.
Let us approach the problems of religiouspluralism through the claims of the different traditions to offer salvation-generically, the transformation of human existence from self-centeredness to Reality-centeredness. This approach leads to a recognition of the great world faiths as spheres of salvation; and so far as we can tell, more or less equally so. Their different truth-claims express (a) their differing perceptions, through different religio-cultural ‘lenses,’ of the one ultimate divine Reality; (b) their different answers to the boundary (...) questions of origin and destiny, true answers to which are however not necessary for salvation, and (c) their different historical memories. (shrink)
Religiouspluralism model holds the belief that there is virtue in every religion, just as all religions are good and are of equal value. It does not consider religion’s particularity but is interested in the ideas that have not favoured any religion. The issue with this concept is not its assertion of the validity of all religions. It is rather with its denial of the finality of any religion as the way by which people could come to God. (...) Hence, it allows the existence of multiple religions in a given society and encourages religious tolerance. The beauty of pluralism is its flexibility which makes religious practicing a wilful act and religious conversion a choice and not a force, although it has the tendency to encourage syncretism. This research examines critically the implications of pluralism using historical approach on the development of Christian church. Data for the research were basically obtained from secondary sources. The findings reveal that although religiouspluralism has its negative sides, it gives the much needed boost to development of church if its tenets are followed. Accordingly, the article recommends that Christian churches in pluralist societies such as Nigeria should imbibe the virtues of religious tolerance, and dialogue, if they want to remain alive and continue to be relevant.Contribution: Religiouspluralism is a panacea to inordinate and incessant religious conflict, if given its proper place in Nigeria, will breed religious tolerance, peace and progress. This work would be of immense of benefit to government, missionaries and students across all strata of discipline. (shrink)
Religious exclusivism is the biggest threat for multi-religious society at the same time, ambivalent thoughts among religion in religiouspluralism due to religious diversity often yields religious violence. In both of the extreme, (religious exclusivism and religiouspluralism) there is the possibility of religious violence, i.e., religious riots, terrorism, mob lynching, and communalism. The objective of this paper is to discuss the significance of inter-religious dialogue (IRD), its basic (...) principle, how IRD will help us for addressing the problems of humanity (i.e., Religious diversity and contradictory thoughts in major religions, Religious Dogma, superstition, and terrorism). If there is any biggest challenge for religion in the 21st century, is this one that how religion can deal with these problems and became a good tool for establishing peace and prosperity in the region. (shrink)
There is an aporia to finitude: if I am limited as a finite being, I cannot know what the limits of my finitude are, because if I knew what those limits are, then I would have transcended them. I refer to this aporia as the "hard problem of finitude," interpreted through Graham Priest's work on inclosure paradoxes. Here I offer an interpretation of François Laruelle's theory of the Philosophical Decision in terms of his attempt to resolve this aporia through his (...) suspension of standard philosophy's form of ontological dualism. Next, I apply non-standard philosophy to the problem of religiouspluralism, presenting a novel theory of "standard religion" and the "Hierophanic Decision" through a non-standard reading of Mircea Eliade's philosophy of religion, and end by pointing towards what a consistently performative and finite form of religiouspluralism might look like from within the "democracy-of-thought," here rendered as the "parliament of religions.". (shrink)
In 'ReligiousPluralism and the Divine: Another Look at John Hick's Neo-Kantian Proposal' Paul Eddy argues against the ultimate ineffability of the Real, and claims that a neo-Kantian epistemology leads to a Feuerbachian non-realism. In response I stress the impossibility of attributing to the Real the range of incompatible characteristics of its phenomenal manifestations, so that it must lie beyond the range of our human religious categories, and the distinction, which Eddy fails to observe, between grounds for (...) believing in the Divine, and reasons for thinking that the Divine can be differently conceived and experienced. (shrink)
This book focuses on the problem of religious diversity, civil dialogue, and religion education in public schools, exploring the ways in which atheists, secularists, fundamentalists, and mainstream religionists come together in the public sphere, examining how civil discourse about religion fit swithin the ideals of the American political and pedagogical systems and how religious studies education can help to foster civility and toleration.
The path of religiouspluralism starts with the fact that our world contains a number of religious faiths having different ideas of the nature of divinity as the main and fundamental principle of religions and therefore, different and various dogmas, rites, and rituals.Despite the claim that the idea of religiouspluralism is a product of modern philosophical schools, specifically new epistemological principles, I have attempted to demonstrate that what I have called "pluralistic religion," as a (...) part of a necessary and substantial distinction that has to be drawn between this hypothesis and John Hick's classic theory of "religiouspluralism," is strongly rooted in the principle of "ultimate truth and uniqueness of .. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. On a (...) broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (shrink)
The paradox of ’Buridan’s ass’ involves an animal facing two equally adequate and attractive alternatives, such as would happen were a hungry ass to confront two bales of hay that are equal in all respects relevant to the ass’s hunger. Of course, the ass will eat from one rather than the other, because the alternative is to starve. But why does this eating happen? What reason is operative, and what explanation can be given as to why the ass eats from, (...) say, the left bale rather than the right bale? Why doesn’t the ass remain caught between the options, forever indecisive and starving to death? Religious pluralists face a similar dilemma, a dilemma that I will argue is more difficult to address than the paradox just described. (shrink)
In ‘ReligiousPluralism and the Divine: Another Look at John Hick's Neo-Kantian Proposal’ [ Religious Studies , xxx, 1994) Paul Eddy argues against the ultimate ineffability of the Real, and claims that a neo-Kantian epistemology leads to a Feuerbachian non-realism. In response I stress the impossibility of attributing to the Real the range of incompatible characteristics of its phenomenal manifestations, so that it must lie beyond the range of our human religious categories, and the distinction, which (...) Eddy fails to observe, between grounds for believing in the Divine, and reasons for thinking that the Divine can be differently conceived and experienced. (shrink)
In this essay I identify and develop an alternative to pluralism which is overlooked in contemporary debate in philosophy of religion and in theology. According to this view, some but not all of the great world religions are equally correct, that is to say, they are just as successful when it comes to tracking the truth and providing a path to salvation. This alternative is not haunted by the same difficulty as pluralism, namely the problem of emptiness. It (...) is therefore more rational at least for many Muslims, but probably also for many Christians and Jews, to embrace it rather than to embrace pluralism. Whether it is also to be preferred over exclusivism and inclusivism is a topic which I will not address in this essay. (shrink)
There is a general recognition that there are various self-identifying religions. Many people find the idea that these religions differ in significant ways altogether too distressing to accept. Thus ReligiousPluralism is often taken to define the only unbiased, rational, and acceptable approach to the diversity of religions. In fact, the Pluralist route is anything but unbiased or rational. Rather than being the only acceptable approach, it should be flatly rejected. While proclaiming its respect to all nice (...) class='Hi'>religious traditions, it proposes a radical reshaping of religious traditions along the lines that it favors. Coming to clear terms with this imperialistic fact concerning Religious Pluralist procedures is no part of their agenda. (shrink)
Political philosophy has difficulties to cope with the complexity and variety of state-religions relations. ‘Strict separationism’ is still the preferred option amongst liberals, deliberative and republican democrats, socialist and feminists. In this article, I develop a complex typology based on comparative history and sociology of religions. I summarize my reasons why institutional pluralist models like plural establishment or non-constitutional pluralism are attractive not only for religious minorities but for religiously deeply diverse societies in general. Most attention is paid (...) defending associative democracy, the most flexible and open variety of institutional pluralism, against realist objections that group representation is incompatible with liberal democracy, that it leads to stigmatization and bureaucratization, that it strengthens undemocratic leaders, that it leads to an ossification of the status quo, and, most importantly, that it is inherently divisive undermining social cohesion and political unity. In my refutation of these objections I try to show that it helps to integrate minority religions into liberal democratic policies compatible with reasonable pluralism and to prevent religious and political fundamentalism. (shrink)
Exclusivism is a highly appealing option in religious terms. It reflects the believers’ commitment to their religion as well as their conviction that their religion is true, and that other religions are therefore false. My central argument is that the justification of inter-religiouspluralism, while not less well established than that of exclusivism, successfully preserves the social intuitions of religious devotion and commitment. The effect of this justification, which remains valid despite objections raised against various forms (...) of inter-religiouspluralism, is to undermine exclusivism. (shrink)
Democratic societies that separate church and state face major challenges in accommodating religious convictions. This applies especially to determining healthcare policies. Building on our prior work on the demands and limits of religious accommodation in democratic societies, we propose a set of ethical standards that can guide societies in meeting this challenge. In applying and defending these standards, we explore three topics: vaccine resistance, abortion, and concerns about rights to healthcare. We clarify these and other issues of (...) class='Hi'>religious accommodation and propose ethical standards for approaching these and other problems. (shrink)
This volume illustrates both theoretically and empirically the differences between religious diversity and religiouspluralism. It highlights how the factual situation of cultural and religious diversity may lead to individual, social and political choices of organized and recognized pluralism. In the process, both individual and collective identities are redefined, incessantly moving along the continuum that ranges from exclusion to inclusion. The book starts by first detailing general issues related to religiouspluralism. It makes (...) the case for keeping the empirical, the normative, the regulatory and the interactive dimensions of religiouspluralism analytically distinct while recognizing that, in practice, they often overlap. It also underlines the importance of seeking connections between religiouspluralism and other pluralisms. Next, the book explores how religious diversity can operate to contribute to legal pluralism and examines the different types of church-state relations: eradication, monopoly, oligopoly and pluralism. The second half of the book features case studies that provide a more specific look at the general issues, from ways to map and assess the religious diversity of a whole country to a comparison between Belgian-French views of religious and philosophical diversity, from religiouspluralism in Italy to the shifting approach to ethnic and religious diversity in America, and from a sociological and historical perspective of religious plurality in Japan to an exploration of Brazilian religions, old and new. The transition from religious diversity to religiouspluralism is one of the most important challenges that will reshape the role of religion in contemporary society. This book provides readers with insights that will help them better understand and interpret this unprecedented transition. (shrink)
To understand the complex religious dynamics in a globalizing world, Arjun Appadurai's view on imagination as a social practice, Charles Taylor's view on social imaginaries, and John Dewey's view on moral imagination are discussed. Their views enable us to understand religious dynamics as a “space of contestation” in which secular and religious images and voices interact, argue, and clash. Imagination can be used in violent ways in service of extremist world images that spread over the world by (...) the intensive use of social media. This raises an urgent question for psychology of religion: what enables people psychologically to engage in religiouspluralism, understood as negotiating and perhaps stimulating diversity in non-violent, constructive ways? It is argued that dialogical psychology helps us to understand the self as the anchor point and navigational system of the social imaginaries that are at play in religious dynamics. (shrink)
The article consider the concept of religiouspluralism by M. Mendelssohn and some aspects of his theory of knowledge and linguistic theory, lying in the foundation of the pluralism concept. The article shows that Mendelssohn expressed views that are far ahead of his time. His theory of knowledge repeats some lines of Hume's philosophy, which he praised highly, what was not characteristic of the German Enlightenment as a whole. By virtue of this, Mendelssohn can be considered as (...) Kant's predecessor in a positive assessment of Hume. Some of Mendelssohns ideas are further developed in phenomenology. The author argues that Mendelssohns views on the interaction of religions, although they have a number of features that make this thinker related to other thinkers of the Enlightenment, also have a fundamental difference with them. As a result, his religiouspluralism concept is close to the modern understanding of religiouspluralism. The author also attempts to reveal the reasons why Mendelssohn, despite his great significance for both German philosophy and Jewish culture, was almost forgotten for a long time. (shrink)
Religious exclusivism, or the idea that only one religion can be true, fuels hatred and conflict in the modern world. Certain objections to religiouspluralism, together with associated defences of exclusivism are flawed. I defend a moderate religiouspluralism, according to which the truth of one religion does not automatically imply the falsity of others. The thought that we can respect persons even when holding them mistaken strains credulity when we are dealing with religious (...) convictions. Moreover, exclusivism is informed by inadequate approaches to discourse about transcendence. The intentional-descriptivist approach to reference is not comprehensively adequate, and yet is assumed by some objections to pluralism. The irreducibly metaphorical character of much religious language means that differences between world religions can be more apparent than real. Approaches to religious education should embrace a moderate religiouspluralism. (shrink)
Processes of globalization have transformed the religious field, raising questions of identity for different religious traditions and their relations with the State, especially in European countries. Religiouspluralism remains in most cases the most important characteristic of the current religious situation. This article reviews the origins of the phenomenon and the part it has played in the study of the sociology of religion, and examines the legal and political conditions that form the backdrop to (...) class='Hi'>pluralism. The author then considers some consequences, taking as an example the `new religion' of the internet. Finally, the author considers the view of fundamental-ist movements as anti-modernist reactions to the identity crises experienced by religions such as Islam in the face of globalization. (shrink)
Critics of John Rawls' conception of a reasonable pluralism have raised the question of whether it is justified to demand that religious individuals should 'bracket' their essential, identity-constituting convictions when they enter a political discourse. I will argue that the criterion for religious beliefs of being justified as grounds for political decisions should be their ability of being 'translatable' in secular reasons for the very same decisions. This translation would demand 'epistemic abstinence' from religious believers only (...) on the basis of a rigid distinction between the spheres of private opinions and public reasons. To give a more adequate account of the relation between religious beliefs and political reasons in a pluralistic society it seems to be helpful to make use of Niklas Luhmann's functionalistic theory of religion. Key Words: democracy and religious beliefs philosophy of religion pluralism political liberalism political theory. (shrink)
Vietnam is a communist country. For a Marxist ideologue, “religion is the opium of the masses.” But many communist countries—over the years—have evolved from a strictly atheistic persuasion to a tolerance for religious practices. Except probably in North Korea, this transformation from an atheistic perspective to religious tolerance has become a phenomenon in communist countries like Russia and China.Vietnam did not have that experience. This paper will show that religiouspluralism was tolerated, even accepted, in communist (...) Vietnam. I will show how vibrant this religious amalgamation is in Vietnam and demonstrate, as in the case of market economics thriving in communist countries, that Vietnamese communism and religiouspluralism can robustly coexist with each other. (shrink)
How can we, as people and communities with different religions and cultures, live together with integrity? Does tolerance require us to deny our deep differences or give up all claims to truth, to trade our received traditions for skepticism or relativism? Cultural philosopher Lenn E. Goodman argues that we can respect one another and learn from one another's ways without either sharing them or relinquishing our own. He argues that our commitments to our own ideals and norms need not mean (...) dogmatism or intolerance. In this study, Goodman offers a trenchant critique of John Rawls's pervasive claim that religious and metaphysical voices must be silenced in the core political deliberations of a democracy. Inquiry, dialogue, and open debate remain the safeguards of public and personal sanity, and any of us, Goodman illustrates, can learn from one another's traditions and explorations without abandoning our own. (shrink)
Religiouspluralism is the view that more than one religion is correct, and that no religion enjoys a special status in relation to the ultimate. Yet the world religions appear to be incompatible. How, then, can more than one be correct? Discussions and critiques of religiouspluralism usually focus on the work of John Hick, yet there are a number of other pluralists whose responses to this incompatibility problem are importantly different from Hick’s. This article surveys (...) the solutions of Hick, Harrison, Heim, Byrne, and Knitter to the incompatibility problem. I conclude that, while none of these views is without weakness, there are several promising pluralist solutions to this problem. Moreover, confessionalists (i.e. exclusivists and inclusivists) must also address issues related to incompatibility. (shrink)
This book surveys the thesis that all religions are alike in referring and relating to a single, common transcendent and sacred reality. It treats this thesis as one in the philosophy of religion. In the first chapter pluralism is defined and its core is distinguished from its particular character and defence in the writings of John Hick and others. The underpinnings of pluralism are held to lie in an understanding of reference in religion, the definition of religion, the (...) nature of salvation, the character of religious language, an appropriate epistemology for the philosophy of religion, and, crucially, the nature of a realist perspective on the religions. A notion of referential realism is set out which when applied to religion makes the pluralist thesis plausible. A chapter is devoted to each of these main themes. The conclusion offers a brief survey of the implications of pluralism for our general view of religion. (shrink)
The view that religious experience is a valid ground of basic religious beliefs inevitably raises the problem of the apparently incompatible belief-systems arising from different forms of religious experience. David Basinger's and William Alston's responses to the problem present the Christian belief-system as the sole exception to the general rule that religious experience gives rise to false beliefs. A more convincing response presents it as an exemplification of the general rule that religious experience gives rise (...) (subject to possible defeaters) to true beliefs. This requires a two-level' conception. (shrink)
Internalist pluralism is an attractive and elegant theory. However, there are two apparently powerful objections to this approach that prevent its widespread adoption. According to the first objection, the resulting analysis of religious belief systems is intrinsically atheistic; while according to the second objection, the analysis is unsatisfactory because it allows religious objects simply to be defined into existence. In this article, I demonstrate that an adherent of internalist pluralism can deflect both of these objections, and (...) in the course of so arguing, I deploy a distinction between “conceptual-scheme targetability” and “successful conceptual-scheme targeting”. (shrink)
Early Christians understood that not every way to God is sound or elevating, that some forms of religion set our hearts on lesser goods, some teach us to honor and venerate improper objects, some abase rather than uplift.