by Perry Schmidt-Leukel
from Modern Believing Vol 57:1 - January 2016

Abstract

Thesis 1: In terms of our awareness of religions the world has become significantly smaller and each country significantly larger.

Thesis 2: Both the factual presence and the awareness of religious diversity will continue to grow for an unforeseeable length of time.

Thesis 3: The religious challenge of religious diversity emerges from the necessity to engage with the perception of different messages of salvation and corresponding truth claims.

Thesis 4: For logical reasons there are only four basic options on how to interpret religious truth claims, and only three of them constitute religious options.

Thesis 5: Prima facie religious diversity seems to support an atheist/naturalist interpretation of religion.

Thesis 6: Exclusivism is the weakest of all possible options.

Thesis 7: Compared to exclusivism, inclusivism is only half-hearted progress.

Thesis 8: Pluralism avoids the weak points of the two alternative options and represents a worthy alternative to atheism.

Thesis 9: Religious pluralism is not relativism.

Thesis 10: Religious pluralism is not in principle opposition to the actual religions.

Thesis 11: Religious pluralism substantiates a new understanding of theology as ‘interreligious theology’.

Thesis 12: Religious pluralism offers a partial solution of the religious potential for conflicts.

Thesis 13: On the social and political level the principle of tolerance takes precedence over religious pluralism.


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