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John Hick on Religious Pluralism

An Interpretation of Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), p. 249.

But if the Real in itself is not and cannot be humanly experienced, why postulate such an unknown and unknowable Ding an sich? The answer is that the divine noumenon is a necessary postulate of the pluralistic religious life of humanity. For within each tradition we regard as real the object of our worship or contemplation. If, as I have already argued, it is also proper to regard as real the objects of worship or contemplation within the other traditions, we are led to postulate the Real an sich as the presupposition of the veridical character of this range of forms of religious experience. Without this postulate we should be left with a plurality of personae and impersonae each of which is claimed to be the Ultimate, but no one of which alone can be. We should have either to regard all the reported experiences as illusory or else return to the confessional position in which we affirm the authenticity of our own stream of religious experience whilst dismissing as illusory those occurring within other traditions. But for those to whom neither of these options seems realistic the pluralistic affirmation becomes inevitable, and with it the postulation of the Real an sich, which is variously experienced and thought…