Are All Religions the Same? Exclusivism, Inclusivism and Pluralism | University of Aberdeen

Are All Religions the Same? Exclusivism, Inclusivism and Pluralism  |  University of Aberdeen
Articles
1



I'm Julie Hollis from Academy conferences I'm here at the University of Aberdeen with Professor Tom Gregg's and I'm going to ask them a few questions about pluralism and the increasing march of secularization in culture and so Tom professor one of the things that young people will say to me if the religions are basically fundamentally all the same and should all be given the same kind of value and respect and that's what we should any more how could you respond to that it's a really complicated and a really good question Julie I think there's a lot of different angles to take this from but the first thing that I always want to point out to students is that the category of religion and as a thinking it is in some ways an extraordinarily modern category and it's a category that presupposes some kind of general generic approach to the topic of spirituality of earnest whatever you might want to say a kind of lowest common denominator approach the idea that you can reduce everything to a basic essence and once you get things about essence then you've identified this mythical thing called religion the problem that I have with that as an approach though is that is a very concrete one which is whenever anybody goes into hospital or whenever they fill in a form where it says religion : no one says yes or no they give a very specific emphasis and they'll say see poor Hindu or Christian even maybe whatever type of Krishna or Muslim but whatever else and everybody offers a discrete description of the tradition then they arise from the religion they arise from and then it's very difficult actually to identify what the commonality is between all of these since you might say well it's God but that's not really quite true either once you get into Eastern religions lots of a theistic religions so the question for me maybe isn't a question about how you find this lowest common denominator because I'm not sure that people that other people with define as religious would necessarily use that description of themselves as a primary identifier it's our Muslim or Jewish and as soon as you begin to make that type of statement you're making an exclusive statement you're talking about the community that you belong to the traditions that you're inheriting you're talking about particular understandings of authority the variety of certain toys it's not to say that I think that you should in any way be disrespectful of other religions if you start from within it but I think what you need to do from within your own religious tradition is to try to find accounts of how to be generous how to be positive how to be understanding towards the other rather than working on some kind of ionized category of the religious or the secular have either you're religious or you're irreligious I'm not that you shall have father and the description takes us what are the way to come after us or talk to you one other ways to come at it is to say that you could say that the category of the religious is in and of itself an invention of the secular so it's only a meaningful category as soon as you say there is space or there are a set of ideas or there's a set of thoughts in which people's identity in relation to their faith doesn't belong so there's an area that we call the secular space in which religious people don't belong and and that begins to define this other area of religion their symbiotic in their relationship to Allah that they rely on each other can turn off the secular without a concept of the religious ideally you want to say that you the really the idea of the religious is something that is invented predominantly I guess in the 19th century through the rise of secular thought the secular does that does that makes it yes no because what wasn't some understands point there are different world religions and if you're a member of a world religion is it an appropriate attitude it would it be your recommendation that you value other religions and other world religions or the world faiths as having something to offer you or not so should you be willing to learn from other world religions if you'd get from a position of faith in one particular one you've got from a position of faithfully homeland you should always have a degree of openness a degree of confidence in what you believe to be able to be open to somebody else in fact the people at least open a usually very so at least confident that if you've put very thin foundations down it's easier you tower to be toppled and it is if you have very deep points and perhaps the deeper the foundations that you have the the more open you can be to others I think I just I understand academically why we come up with this idea of a world religion I think I just struggle with that as an insider self description of how anybody understands them so I think it would be very difficult to find say a gene and say what are you and they say I belong to a world religion as their primary identifier for me I always want to step back and say what what to her religious people in inverted commas self understand and what makes something distinct from that's what makes our religion distinct say from something like a humanist organization so we now have a situation in London we have a colleague here who's done some research on this where you have secular communities meeting together almost as a church in inverted commas listening having and meditation and choirs perhaps having the equivalent to the sermon you know have secular funerals humanist funeral circular weddings all the things that we might identify its belonging to our religion we actually find an equal and opposite sphere it's potteries and when it's in the subotica I do realize I'm being slightly endemic affinity about this but I just think that before we move to a generic reference category or the genus were always better to start with the individual instance eh you something not to think from there but I think for me in the current world the best thing that we can do as in inverted commas religious people is to think from within our traditions about what our traditions teachers in their own way about what it needs to be peaceful good citizens of the world because imposing something from our solid will never quite capture those people who say that my primary identity is my own faith you have to justify this on the grounds of the faith that I hope so what about tension between different thanks yeah that's a yeah we live in a century that's probably in some ways the most religious sanctuary first since the sixteenth century maybe and the 17th century since their Reformation and all the religions that followed from that and the 20th century was a remarkably secular century religion seemed to have disappeared from the public general imagination and the 21st century started incredibly differently for me the question is if tension is happening on the grounds of the most intense or supposedly the most intense it's been a big underlining to supposedly expressions of a faith community if the tension is happening between these two intense expressions of extremely committed Christians let's say and extremely committed but this is what I find somewhere nice Rebecca if it's extremely intense versions of that I think the way of dealing with tension it's not to come in from outside and say actually what we've got to do is remove your religion you need to dial your own religion back because all that will do is dial the religion up an unhealthy secular theory but I'll help the extreme versions of secularism will feed into and help the extreme versions of religion and so the cycle goes on simile the other way around what I think we need to do is to say what is there within your tradition that helps you to overcome this tension so some of my own research for example has been on their way in which Jesus lived within a pluralist context his own age as a Christian theologian the way that I am most intensely a Christian theologian surely has to be by dealing with my scriptures by dealing with Jesus Christ as the core they've the exclusive identifier of my faith but what is that within what Jesus says whether the way that he behaves that shows me that to be a good Christian to be a good follower of Christ doesn't involve having tension and aggression towards the other who isn't a Christian but actually evolved being loving supportive caring compassionate and learning from the story of the Good Samaritan isn't mater I get for that but there are some Christian groups who believe that only Christians can be saved and they have a very kind of exclusivity picture of their particular brand of personality so how can you respond how can you deal with that what kind of respond could we make to that kind of closing down it always nobody else than we saved it so that's a great question that's a large part of my research was on for 15 years or so I think I want to differentiate between two types of exclusive isms and I think this is one area in the way in which this material is often tours where we don't make a differentiation between the two I would want to differentiate between exclusivism as it relates to revelation so as it relates to the exclusive claims of a faith the way in which they understand the self unveiling of God and God's purposes with the world and the exclusivism as it relates to salvation because I don't think they're necessarily the same things and very often that conflated together and I would say traditionally then conflated together and the other way in which we teach this sometimes is that we seem to presume that only these evil awful extremists think that you know not everybody goes to heaven not everybody is safe of course the vast majority of people throughout the vast majority of Christian history and the vast majority of people who believe in Christianity now would make the claim in some kind of way you know that's with new ones basically the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church the Protestant churches which are Orthodox and so for that so it's not an extreme position to hold that necessarily I really struggle with that is a position on the grounds of salvation as as a Christian I always want to articulate the board at home but how I would want to deal with those people is not to say well actually what you need to do is realize that we live in a society that's Laureles let the cultural conditions of the age determine the way that you understand your faith dial it down reduce it to a lowest common denominator wipe away that kind of uncomfortable edges of it let's all not be bothered being a Christian let's be concerned about the religious or let's be concerned even beyond that but being decent people I think you get that kind of idea in here Chris mmm that's a very crude presentation but this floor isn't my moment to say is well what can you learn if you take the exclusive claims of Christianity in terms of Revelation seriously about the water hope for everybody else about the way in which you understand other people what does it mean for Jesus as a Jewish human being in Palestine Israel Palestine in the first century to say of a Roman centurion who would have believed in the pantheon of gods that he see more faith in that person than anyone else in these governments here's a pollutant here's somebody who believes in Zeus and all of these sorts of people what does mean to take that seriously what does it mean for support to say as everybody dies in Adams so everybody is raising in Christ so I don't think you have to have a position where you're either give up on Christianity essential top triangle tenants sometimes called Protestant circles Solus Christus Christ being in the center I'd only be necessary I don't have to give up on that to have a broader hope of a broader understanding of the way in which salvation works yeah or you could say that well let's look let's go with two answers to that you could say yes someone just lifts the two on this one you can say yes I want that absolutely that there is a difference between the epistemic between what we know about something and the ontological ones what really is so as much as I might close my eyes and say Mongolia doesn't exist while going as an exist of course Mongolia exists but what I believe about that doesn't affect the reality of it and I think I would want to say the same thing with regard to faith but faith for me is about understanding reality as it is it doesn't alter reality it doesn't mean that you are saved because of something you believe is if you signing a contract what you are believing is the reality of the way in which God interacts with the Croatian so that that would be one way of approaching it the other way would be to say which is a bit more in line with say something like Rana lotus-like conversion about it one way to talk about it in a more inclusive this way would be to say that people might meet Christ unknowingly that's actually in any good they do anytime that their humanity reflects the humanity in Christ they are fulfilling the Christian think they are they do want to know Christ they called name Christ as such so in the same way that you might say baby wouldn't know it's not there or it's grandparents but it couldn't give information nevertheless there is that degree of relationship and with that in that view be any superiority ascribed to those who are in Christ so for example if you go to a Hindu temple they'll vary or from Greek years and Christian Hindu mmm-hmm they're happy to welcome you as a Hindu in disguise and that seems to be what you just start going there sort of I mean it it's different if you belong to if you're a polytheist isn't it because if you're a polytheist you can always add a god in and that that's the case you see this in in the case in Rome that when Rome II moment when Rome takes over any area the reason why Rome believes it has superiority over all the other nations is because it recognizes and venerates the local cops of the place of the second over so you know cliff might well be another God amongst if you remember polytheist if you're a monotheists there's always going to be some degree of exclusive claimant but but moneth isn't to say that there is only one god which Christians do some less than turn or say is both an exclusive claim because it says there's only one god but but it's also a universal claim because there is only one God so if anybody is praying to God right who else can they be praying to other than the one God so all of these are works in either way why don't we see it an advantage of those who are you might say I like the language of activity in Christ that's what they consciously in Christ it's maybe just peace it's maybe just the idea that you know I can live my life without fear of what happens after death there might be huge existential benefits to knowing the gospel it's a feeling that you you know as somebody who takes funerals occasionally that this there's a degree of peace that comes so people who feel that they know what their end is that might just be an existential expression or theirs rather than dying in fear or dying them know so festive great so it's wondering if you might give us some thoughts on Bart's and bonheoffer I've always seen but possibly mistakenly it's a bit of an exclusivist is that you'll take it is I think bommai returns all of the categories I think probably the best way to understand part is to see him again as the background of the 19th century than what you have in the 19th century as I move to the to a discussion of the essence of Christianity you have the emergence of the idea of religion as a field for category that what all of these people have in common is religion that might be the essence of Christianity what Schreyer math got Bart's grades and here overall so the Tesla bottom poses most fiercely which are like a court of cause the sense and taste for the infinites that gave you the feeling that you know but must whoever turn them because what Bart is aware of is all of the critique that comes to that the critique particularly from FOIA by Ludwig Feuerbach perhaps the father of modern atheism I think the a great genius who said when religious people talk about God what they're actually doing is talking about themselves so when they talk about God being powerful what they're doing is trying to ascribe to themselves power and they talk about God being everlasting what they're doing is talking about their only desire to be everlasting it's ecological analysis that takes place but recognizes that and wants to oppose it and he says that Jesus Christ is and he uses this really technical German way our fear bunk there and it geography we translated some sort of destruction it's actually when choosen by the philosopher Hegel and it means maybe sublimation or something destroy something to reconstitute a little different one so for Bart Bart sees Jesus Christ as uniquely exclusively the way in which we might understand who God is what God does but he says that this isn't all together a message of God's yes to humanity that God becoming human includes every human being within that so although it's extraordinarily exclusivist and it's the pistil illogically exclusive it's part we stay do anyway they have access to this is through knowledge of Jesus question the Scriptures very Protestant classically possible but he says that in Jesus Christ every human being is captured you have to have a very advanced understanding of the of eternity in relation to that consents the Eternity is perfect use of boethius's part remove eternity the perfect simultaneous possession of in life and what that means is if your motive infinitely long PNA every note being played at once and for that reason but doesn't just have a sequential understanding of what happens it's not simply that human beings are created we stuff up as a result of that compost plant big for what Bob would say is no it's not just the case of Jesus Christ comes because of creation creation comes because of Jesus Christ that God's willing to before another is expressed in Jesus Christ and all humanity is contained in Jesus Christ he is the first human it's not that we it's not that he shares our humanity in the senses that we share his perfect humility a bit I told you forget this so you think that we know if there's warm verse that's important about it's John 1:14 the word became flesh dwelt amongst us that is the absolute core of his soldiers it is four other major theological an earthen atheism but all of humanity is including that support is but because not also offers a critique of religion Bart says that the critique of religion as a category has to be applied to Christians most of all so the fact that Christians have been shamed by Christ that our desire to get to god this is insufficient isn't isn't the right way to go about things and we still do it determines that Christians don't judge most of all so Christians in their attitude towards other religions versicolor should be police fault-tolerant kind gracious aware of their own vehicles and failings and in that way you could see bart isn't as deeply exclusivist the includes the vista in the sentence also deeply plural this because what you're saying is you know everybody is lying culpable of this and what christ does is to invert it is to destroy it is to show that we shouldn't look for what it means for a human being to be made in the image of god but we should think about what it means to speak of the eternal humanity of God that exists in Jesus Christ I have never brilliant thank you saying I start by being really helpful okay but when I go back to school to explain it to my students

Jesus is the YES of God, but each individual has to say YES to God also. And yes there is ONE God, but the difference is that a Christian knows to whom they're praying to, there is an intimate relationship; the other religions are praying to an impersonal God, they do not know who they are praying to, or they think they know. Also, there cannot be anonymous Christians (those who are not aware that they are actually Christians by their way of living), because when Christ calls, it cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14-15 says: 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house." God has made his church visible so that we may lead people towards salvation; and thus, if one has an encounter with Christ, He will reveal Himself, and will become a disciple of Christ, and will be incorporated to the visible Body of Christ. Just like the invisible God became flesh and visible, in the same way He wants his people, to be visible to lead others to Him, so NO there is no such thing as people following Christ without knowing, one is either in Christ or not. CHRISTIANS MUST BE INCLUSIVIST IN THE SOCIAL SENSE, THAT IS, RESPECTING PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS, AND LOVING THEM, BUT CHRISTIANS SHOULD ALSO BE EXCLUSIVIST IN THE THEOLOGICAL SENSE, ESPECIALLY REGARDING THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION. A CHRISTIAN SHOULD ADOPT AN INCLUSIVIST APPROACH ENOUGH TO CREATE AN INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE TO LEAD PEOPLE TO CHRIST, YET EXCLUSIVIST ENOUGH TO STAND BY THE SOUND DOCTRINE THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES AND OBEY THE GREAT COMMISSION.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Passion – More Like Jesus (Live) ft. Kristian Stanfill
Articles
94
Passion – More Like Jesus (Live) ft. Kristian Stanfill

♪♪♪ ♪ YOU CAME TO THE WORLD YOU CREATED ♪ ♪ TRADING YOUR CROWN FOR A CROSS ♪ ♪ YOU WILLINGLY DIED ♪ ♪ YOUR INNOCENT LIFE PAID THE COST ♪ ♪ COUNTING YOUR STATUS AS NOTHING ♪ ♪ THE KING OF ALL KINGS CAME TO SERVE ♪ ♪ WASHING …

Baby Boomer Dating Tips!!! Online Dating Websites for Boomers
Articles
Baby Boomer Dating Tips!!! Online Dating Websites for Boomers

So you’ve decided to put yourself out there and give online dating a shot? Well, stay tuned and find out how to get started on the right foot! Thanks so much for tuning into 2nd Act TV. Real happy to introduce you to Sandy Weiner today. Sandy is the founder …

Healing illness with the subconscious mind | Danna Pycher | TEDxPineCrestSchool
Articles
100
Healing illness with the subconscious mind | Danna Pycher | TEDxPineCrestSchool

Translator: Queenie Lee Reviewer: Peter van de Ven What if I told you, you might not be who you think you are? What if I told you that your very perception or idea of who you are has been weaved into your mind over time? What if you don’t agree …