Monday, February 25, 2008

Religious Pluralism

Time for some quotes on religious pluralism. Sorry for the lack of blogging - a combination of quizzing, work and my girlfriend getting back might be to blame.

First up, some unintentionally contradictory ones from the same page of an utterly awful book:

The infinity and ineffability of God-Mystery demands religious pluralism and forbids any one religion from having the “only” or “final” word.

Pluralism tells us that there is no “one” that can be imposed on the “many”.

Paul Knitter, The Myth of Christian Uniqueness

So, does that "one" which can't be imposed include pluralism then?

And a sensible one from Michael Green, which gets thought provoking too.

I find it ironic that people object to the proclamation of the Christian gospel these days because so many other faiths jostle on the doorstep of our global village. What's new? The variety of faiths in antiquity was even greater than it is today. And the early Christians, making as they did ultimate claims for Jesus, met the problem of other faiths head-on from the very outset. Their approach was interesting... They did not denounce other faiths. They simply proclaimed Jesus with all the power and persuasiveness at their disposal.

Michael Green


Anonymous said...

Pluralism's great. It's important not to confuse it with relativism, though, since the two are actually incompatible. Living in an environment where there are lots of different belief systems means that none of those systems can become complacent. In this way, the Reformation was good for the Catholic church.

On the other hand, a relativistic belief that all those systems are really the same, denies their differences and forces us to live in a one-belief system where thinking can get very lazy.

John said...

And annoyingly, "pluralism" is used to describe both the fact that there are lots of different religions and the belief that all those religions are equally valid.