Religious Pluralism and Interreligious Theology: The Gifford Lectures -- An Extended Edition

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9781626982307: Religious Pluralism and Interreligious Theology: The Gifford Lectures -- An Extended Edition
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Interreligious dialogue has encouraged many theologians in all major religious traditions to consider whether other religions may offer a different but nevertheless genuine and valid path of salvation or liberation. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, in this extended version of his 2015 Gifford Lectures, argues that this position -- often called "religious pluralism" -- must be developed within particular insights supplied by each of the major traditions.

Although severe barriers to religious pluralism exist within each tradition, he shows nevertheless that possibilities for a pluralist understanding exist in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese religions. Interreligious theology, he argues, carries the promise of being the theology of the future.

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About the Author:

Perry Schmidt-Leukel is Professor of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology, University of Münster, and Director of the Institute for Religious Studies and Interfaith Theology. He has published a dozen books in German and English, most recently, Transformation by Integration: How Inter-faith Encounter Changes Christianity (Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2009). This book combines his 2015 Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow and lectures delivered in 2014 at Zhejiang University in China.

Review:

"As Perry Schmidt-Leukel argues, the religious communities of the world are facing the possibility, and the necessity, of abandoning claims of superiority in order to engage in mutual learning and collaboration for the well-being of all. He makes a powerful and lucid case that this 'pluralist option' can be taken with academic integrity, religious fidelity, and ethical responsibility. His voice needs to be heard within the English-speaking conversation on theologies of religions and comparative theology." --Paul F. Knitter, Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary

"Perry Schmidt-Leukel's lucid accounts of the seeds of pluralist perspectives in various religious traditions and of recent developments in the study of religious plurality are timely and compelling. His fractal theory of religious diversity offers a promising framework for engaging the acute challenges now confronting our global community." --Dennis Hirota, Emeritus, Ryukoku University

"Provides an extensive record of the great advances made by interreligious scholarship over the past decades (the list of works referred to by the author is 30 pages long). To the work that has already been done, Schmidt-Leukel adds his own penetrating scholarship and brilliant insights to argue, clearly and convincingly, that increased knowledge of and respect for other religious traditions can enrich and even purify one's understanding of and commitment to one s own religious tradition. --William Skudlarek, in Dilatato Corde

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