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Problems of Religious Diversity

Paul J. Griffiths (Wiley-Blackwell: June 29, 2001), 196 pages.

Problems of Religious Diversity analyzes the philosophical questions raised by the fact that many religions in the world often appear to contradict each other in doctrine and practice. The volume distinguishes the differences between religious and non-religious responses to these questions, and evaluates the fundamental philosophical underpinnings of these contemporary debates. It further discusses what a religion is and how diversity in religion can be understood, and examines the concepts of religious truth and salvation. Questions considered include: Can there be more than one true religion? What is the relation between commitment to one’s faith and tolerance of other faiths? How does one’s awareness of diverse religious claims affect the degree or strength of belief in one’s own religion? In what ways can the concept of salvation and its prospects be construed in response to the contradictory nature of different religions?

Table of Contents

    • Preface.
    • Acknowledgments.
  • 1. Religious Diversity.
    • Religion: Some Historical Remarks.
    • Religion: A Definition.
    • Diversity in Religion.
    • Philosophical Questions About Religious Diversity.
    • Standpoints and Answers.
  • 2. Religious Diversity and Truth.
    • Religious Claims: Doctrines and Teachings.
    • Assent and Acceptance.
    • Truth, Falsehood, Incompatibility.
    • Parity with Respect to Truth: A Kantian View.
    • Parity with Respect to Truth: A Wittgensteinean View.
    • Parity with Respect to Truth: Nonreligious Views.
    • Difference with Respect to Religious Truth: Exclusivism.
    • Difference with Respect to Religious Truth: Inclusivism.
    • A Catholic Christian Argument for Open Inclusivism.
  • 3. Religious Diversity and Epistemic Confidence.
    • Epistemic Confidence.
    • Awareness of Diversity.
    • Religious Responses to the Question of Epistemic Confidence.
    • Privatization.
    • A Christian View, in Conversation with William Alston.
  • 4. The Religious Alien.
    • Toleration: Enduring the Religious Alien.
    • Separation: Isolating the Religious Alien.
    • Conversion: Domesticating the Religious Alien.
    • Christian Evangelism.
  • 5. The Question of Salvation.
    • Pluralism.
    • Exclusivism.
    • Inclusivism.
    • Restrictivism and Universalism.
    • A Brief Guide to Further Reading.
    • Glossary.
    • Index.