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


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.

You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.