Religious Pluralism

a universal frame of orientation for human understanding and life is no more available to us than is a universal language…if we understand human historicity in the sense that I am urging here, Christian faith, (like every other faith) will be seen as one perspective, one worldview, which has developed in and through a long history alongside other traditions…we now see the great theologians of Christian history … not simply as setting out the truth that is ultimately salvific for all humanity, but rather as essentially engaged in discerning and articulating one particular perspective on life among many others.

Gordon Kaufman, in Vinoth Ramachandra, The Recovery of Mission, p.140, n.3

Ramachandra comments:

Presumably, Kaufman’s thesis is itself simply one particular, historically-conditioned, perspective among others; for, if not, his thesis would be falsified by his own example. Why then should others accept it?

Kaufman, life all relativists (whether historicists, cognitive relativists, social relativists, religious pluralists etc.) propound a grand theory that relativises all (prior) interpertations and always leave one, striking exception to this relativising procedure – their own grand theory. |Similarly, postmodernists reject all metanarratives by means of  the metanarrative that ‘ all metanarratives are to be rejected’.

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2 Responses to “Religious Pluralism”

  1. ralanboyle Says:

    I think you may be viewing relativity through the wrong lens. That is to say that you are bringing your own presuppositions of certainty into someone else’s rejection of certainty. Relativists, and pluralists typically stand on the ideal that the nature of truth is not constant, therefore it is acceptable for you to say that it is while it is acceptable for them to say that it is not. You seem to be imposing your certainty into their uncertainly. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • soulangler Says:

      “I think you may be viewing relativity through the wrong lens.”

      But you can’t be certain of course 🙂 Perhaps you are absolutely wrong about your uncertainty and provisionality?

      “Relativists, and pluralists typically stand on the ideal that the nature of truth is not constant”

      Do they know this absolutely? then perhaps they are simply mistaken.

      “…it is acceptable for them to say that (truth) is not (constant).”

      They can ‘say’ that but they can’t know it according to their presuppositions.

      I’m not imposing my certainty – relativists are caught in a bind of their own making.

      Cf. also the nihilist who says, ‘There is no meaning.’
      But s/he just made a meaningful statement!
      Therefore the statement, ‘There is no meaning’ is self-refuting. It isn’t about anyone imposing certainty or belief on another.

      Thanks for dropping by – and I mean that absolutely.
      🙂

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