The presuppositions of religious pluralism and the need for natural theology

Sophia 47 (2):201-222 (2008)
Abstract
In ‘The Presuppositions of Religious Pluralism and the Need for Natural Theology’ I argue that there are four important presuppositions behind John Hick’s form of religious pluralism that successfully support it against what I call fideistic exclusivism. These are i) the ought/can principle, ii) the universality of religious experience, iii) the universality of redemptive change, and iv) a view of how God (the Eternal) would do things. I then argue that if these are more fully developed they support a different kind of exclusivism, what I call rational exclusivism, and become defeaters for pluralism. In order to explain rational exclusivism and its dependence on these presuppositions I consider philosophers J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, and Alvin Plantinga, who offer arguments for their forms of exclusivism but I maintain that they continue to rely on fideism at important points. I then give an example of how knowledge of the Eternal can be achieved.
Keywords Pluralism  Natural theology  General revelation  Fideism  Fideistic exclusivism  Rational exclusivism  John Hick  Vivekananda  Vasubandhu  Nagarjuna  Immanuel Kant  Post-Kantian theology  William Rowe  J.P. Moreland  William Lane Craig  Alvin Plantinga  Sensus divinitatis  Intuition  Inference  Reason  Law of non-contradiction  Ought/can principle  Religious experience  Redemption  Special revelation
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