About this topic
Summary

There is great religious diversity in the world—both of religious traditions (e.g. Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) and of traditions within religions (e.g. Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, etc. within Christianity). This religious diversity raises a number of pressing philosophical questions; in particular, questions regarding the epistemic and soteriological import of such diversity. Some epistemic questions include: What epistemic obligations does religious diversity impose on us, given that this diversity highlights substantial religious disagreement—indeed, disagreement amongst interlocutors who are, at least prima facie, intellectual peers? Are we permitted to be dogmatic about our own religious convictions? Or should such diversity cause us to question the veracity of any one tradition? Soteriological questions include: What does this diversity amongst sincere and pious religious practitioners suggest about the soteriological value of any one of the religious traditions? Assuming that there is at least one god, can any one religious tradition lay sole claim to garnering divine favor? Or does every religious tradition offer its own, viable path to divine favor? While the term “religious pluralism” sometimes simply designates the phenomenon of religious diversity, in the context of philosophy of religion it designates a specific philosophical view that aims to answer questions like those above.  

What is the view? In response to epistemic questions from religious diversity, the religious pluralist claims (roughly), for any given area of religious diversity—especially areas where there is substantial disagreement amongst intellectual peers—that “no specific religious perspective is [epistemically] superior” and, what is more, that “the religious perspectives of more than one basic theistic system or variant thereof are equally close to the truth” (Basinger §2, 2014). And in response to the soteriological questions, the religious pluralist claims (roughly) that “there is no one true religion, and therefore, no one and only path to eternal existence with God” or divine favor (Basinger §7, 2014).

Key works

John Hick is one of the leading proponents for religious pluralism, and his 1989 book, An Interpretation of Religion (Hick 1989), is broadly considered to be the seminal case for the view. An excellent collection on the philosophical import of religious diversity—including cases both for and against religious pluralism—is The Philosophical Challenge of Religious Diversity by Quinn & Meeker 1999

Introductions

Encyclopedia articles include http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/religious-pluralism/

Related categories

153 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 153
  1. added 2020-05-29
    Spirituality, Expertise, and Philosophers.Bryan Frances - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 1:44-81.
  2. added 2020-05-24
    The Epistemology of Real-World Religious Disagreement Without Peers.Bryan Frances - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (1):289-297.
    When you learn that a large body of highly intelligent, fair-minded, reasonable, and relatively unbiased thinkers disagree with you, does that give you good reason to think you’re wrong? Should you think, “Wait a minute. Maybe I’ve missed something here”? Should you at least drastically reduce your confidence? There is a general epistemological problem here regarding controversial beliefs, one that has nothing especially to do with religious belief. I argue that applying this discussion to religion transforms the problem in unexpected (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-24
    Political Liberalism and Modernity: An Immanent Critique of the Political Conception of Justice.David S. Owen - 2001 - Southwest Philosophy Review 17 (2):91-108.
  4. added 2020-04-06
    Disagreement and Religion: Problems and Prospects.Matthew A. Benton - forthcoming - In Matthew A. Benton & Jonathan L. Kvanvig (eds.), Religious Disagreement and Pluralism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter covers contemporary work on disagreement, detailing both the conceptual and normative issues in play in the debates in mainstream analytic epistemology, and how these relate to religious diversity and disagreement. §1 examines several sorts of disagreement, and considers several epistemological issues: in particular, what range of attitudes a body of evidence can support, how to understand higher-order evidence, and who counts as an epistemic “peer”. §2 considers how these questions surface when considering disagreements over religion, including debates over (...)
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  5. added 2020-03-19
    Four Ways to Another Religion's Ultimate.J. R. Hustwit - 2018 - Open Theology 4:496-505.
    The prospect of recognizing the ultimate is a matter of interpretation. As such, hermeneutics is used as a framework for describing the interactions of self, language, and the other (whether culturally other or ultimately other). Questioning whether religious ultimacy can be recognized across religious boundaries is based on a mistaken assumption that differences between religions are qualitatively different than differences within a religion. Hermeneutically speaking, intra-communal difference and inter-communal difference are of the same kind. If humans can negotiate the former, (...)
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  6. added 2020-02-06
    Pluralism and Ineffability.David Cheetham - 2020 - Religious Studies 56:95-110.
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  7. added 2019-12-16
    Reason, Authority and Consciousness: An Analytical Approach to Religious Pluralism.Mudasir A. Tantray - 2018 - International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts 6 (1):1832-1834.
    Present world is the victim of conflicts on the basis of misunderstanding of religious dogmas of different religions, irrationality, ignorance and intolerance. People are moving away from knowledge, truth and reason. Indeed people accept false beliefs, hallucinations and myths. The role of religious plurality in philosophy is not to integrate and harmonize religions, especially religions cannot, and rather it is the business of religious pluralism to learn, think and acquire knowledge about the variety of religious beliefs, statements and injunctions. This (...)
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  8. added 2019-11-20
    Cognitive Science of Religion and the Nature of the Divine: A Pluralist Non-Confessional Approach.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2020 - In Jerry L. Martin (ed.), Theology without walls: The transreligious imperative. New York, USA: Taylor and Francis. pp. 128-137.
    According to cognitive science of religion (CSR) people naturally veer toward beliefs that are quite divergent from Anselmian monotheism or Christian theism. Some authors have taken this view as a starting point for a debunking argument against religion, while others have tried to vindicate Christian theism by appeal to the noetic effects of sin or the Fall. In this paper, we ask what theologians can learn from CSR about the nature of the divine, by looking at the CSR literature and (...)
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Christian Theology and Religious Pluralism: A Critical Evaluation of John Hick. By David S. Nah. Pp. Vii, 234, Eugene, Pickwick, 2012, $27.00. [REVIEW]Glenn B. Siniscalchi - 2014 - Heythrop Journal 55 (3):497-498.
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Lost in Translation: On the Untranslatable and its Ethical Implications for Religious Pluralism.Lovisa Bergdahl - 2009 - Philosophy of Education 43 (1):31-44.
    In recent years, there have been reports about increased religious discrimination in schools. As a way of acknowledging the importance of religion and faith communities in the public sphere and to propose a solution to the exclusion of religious citizens, the political philosopher Jürgen Habermas suggests an act of translation for which both secular and religious citizens are mutually responsible. What gets lost in Habermas's translation, this paper argues, is the condition that makes translation both necessary and possible. Drawing on (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    Islam and Global Dialogue: Religious Pluralism and the Pursuit of Peace. Edited by Roger Boase: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Richard Penaskovic - 2007 - Heythrop Journal 48 (4):654-655.
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    Review of Different Paths, Different Summits: A Model for Religious Pluralism by Stephen Kaplan. [REVIEW]Jason Albertson - 2005 - Philosophy East and West 55 (3):503-503.
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  13. added 2019-06-06
    Review of Different Paths, Different Summits: A Model for Religious Pluralism by Stephen Kaplan. [REVIEW]John B. Cobb - 2005 - Philosophy East and West 55 (2):367-370.
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  14. added 2019-06-06
    Pluralism and Justified Religious Belief: A Response to Gellman.David Basinger - 1996 - Faith and Philosophy 13 (2):260-265.
    I have argued previously that the reality of pervasive religious pluralism obligates a believer to attempt to establish her perspective as the correct one. In a recent response, Jerome Gellman maintains that the believer who affirms a ‘religious epistemology’ is under no such obligation in that she need not subject her religious beliefs to any ‘rule of rationality’. In this paper I contend that there do exist some rules of rationality that must be acknowledged-and satisfied-within all epistemic systems and that (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-06
    Religious Pluralism and the Divine: Another Look at John Hick's Neo-Kantian Proposal: PAUL R. EDDY.Paul R. Eddy - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (4):467-478.
    This study focuses upon the heart of John Hick's pluralistic philosophy of religion – his neo-Kantian response to the problem of conflicting inter-religious conceptions of the divine. Hick attempts to root his proposal in two streams of tradition: the inter-religious awareness of the distinction between the divine in itself vs. the divine as humanly experienced, and a Kantian epistemology. In fact, these attempts are problematic in that his hypothesis introduces a radical subjectivizing element at both junctures. In the end, I (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-06
    Imagination and Religious Pluralism: Maimonides, Ibn Verga, and Vico.José Faur - 1992 - New Vico Studies 10:36.
  17. added 2019-06-05
    Religious Pluralism and Pluralistic Religion: John Hick’s Epistemological Foundation of Religious Pluralism and an Explanation of Islamic Epistemology Toward Diversity of Unique Religion.Seyed Hassan Hosseini - 2010 - The Pluralist 5 (1):94.
    The path of religious pluralism starts with the fact that our world contains a number of religious faiths having different ideas of the nature of divinity as the main and fundamental principle of religions and therefore, different and various dogmas, rites, and rituals.Despite the claim that the idea of religious pluralism is a product of modern philosophical schools, specifically new epistemological principles, I have attempted to demonstrate that what I have called "pluralistic religion," as a part of a necessary and (...)
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  18. added 2019-06-05
    Religious Pluralism and Christian Truth.David R. Loy & Joseph Stephen O'Leary - 1998 - Buddhist-Christian Studies 18:241.
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  19. added 2019-04-26
    Two Peas in a Single Polytheistic Pod: Richard Swinburne and John Hick.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41 (Supplement):17-32.
    A descriptive polytheist thinks there are at least two gods. John Hick and Richard Swinburne are descriptive polytheists. In this respect, they are like Thomas Aquinas and many other theists. What sets Swinburne and Hick apart from Aquinas, however, is that unlike him they are normative polytheists. That is, Swinburne and Hick think that it is right that we, or at least some of us, worship more than one god. However, the evidence available to me shows that only Swinburne, and (...)
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  20. added 2019-04-16
    Religious Disagreement and Pluralism.Matthew A. Benton & Jonathan L. Kvanvig (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemological questions about the significance of disagreement have advanced in concert with broader developments in social epistemology concerning testimony, the nature of expertise and epistemic authority, the role of institutions, group belief, and epistemic injustice (among others). During this period, related issues in the epistemology of religion have reemerged as worthy of new consideration, and available to be situated with new conceptual tools. This volume explores many of the issues at the intersection of the epistemology of disagreement and religious epistemology: (...)
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  21. added 2019-04-06
    Who or What is God, According to John Hick?Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - Topoi 36 (4):571-586.
    I summarize John Hick’s pluralistic theory of the world’s great religions, largely in his own voice. I then focus on the core posit of his theory, what he calls “the Real,” but which I less tendentiously call “Godhick”. Godhick is supposed to be the ultimate religious reality. As such, it must be both possible and capable of explanatory and religious significance. Unfortunately, Godhick is, by definition, transcategorial, i.e. necessarily, for any creaturely conceivable substantial property F, it is neither an F (...)
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  22. added 2019-02-12
    Daoism, Humanity, and the Way of Heaven.Ian James Kidd - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    I argue that Zhuangist Daoism manifests what I label the spiritual aspiration to emulation, and then use this to challenge some of John Cottingham's attempts to confine authentic spiritual experience to theistic traditions.
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  23. added 2018-11-05
    A Critique of Victoria S. Harrison’s Internal Realist Approach to Pluralism.Daniele Bertini - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1053-1068.
    Victoria S. Harrison’s theory of internal pluralism approaches religious beliefs in terms of conceptual schemes. To her, this approach has the advantage of preserving core pluralist intuitions without being challenged by the usual difficulties. My claim is that this is not the case. After providing a succinct presentation of internal pluralism, I show that the critique of traditional pluralist views such as Hick’s may also be addressed to Harrison. There are two main reasons in support of my claim. Firstly, a (...)
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  24. added 2018-06-20
    Plurality and Ambiguity: Hermeneutics, Religion, Hope.David Tracy - 1988 - Ethics 98 (4):864-865.
  25. added 2018-06-20
    Theological Pluralism and Analogy.David Tracy - 1979 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 54 (1):24-36.
  26. added 2018-06-18
    Religious Diversity.Hamid Vahid - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (2):219-236.
    Philosophical responses to religious diversity range from outright rejection of divine reality to claims of religious pluralism. In this paper, I challenge those responses that take the problem of religious diversity to be merely an instance of the general problem of disagreement. To do so, I will take, as my starting point, William Alston’s treatment of the problems that religious diversity seems to pose for the rationality of theistic beliefs. My main aim is to highlight the cognitive penetrability of religious (...)
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  27. added 2018-04-19
    In Spirit and Truth: Toward a Theology Without Walls.Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    Theology Without Walls is a project that seeks to understand the nature of divine reality through an exploration of all the world's religious traditions, without confining itself to any one in particular. In this essay, I discuss why theology has traditionally been done within the boundaries of specific traditions and suggest that, in our time, we are called to a new, more comprehensive, approach to theology.
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  28. added 2018-02-18
    ‘Byrne’s’ Religious Pluralism.Tim Mawson - 2005 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 58 (1):37-54.
    " All major religious traditions are equal in respect of making common reference to a single transcendent sacred reality. All major traditions are likewise equal in respect of offering some means or other to human salvation. All traditions are to be seen as containing revisable, limited, accounts of the nature of the sacred: none is certain enough in its particular dogmatic formulations to provide the norm for interpreting the others." P. Byrne, Prolegomena to Religious Pluralism, p. 12. In this paper, (...)
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  29. added 2018-02-17
    Essays in the Philosophy of Religion.Christian Miller (ed.) - 2006 - Clarendon Press.
    This volume brings together fourteen of the best papers by the late Philip Quinn, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion. It covers the following topics: religious epistemology, religious ethics, religion and tragic dilemmas, religion and political liberalism, topics in Christian philosophy, and religious diversity.
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  30. added 2017-04-06
    How to Tell Whether Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God.Tomas Bogardus & Mallorie Urban - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (2):176-200.
    Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? We answer: it depends. To begin, we clear away some specious arguments surrounding this issue, to make room for the central question: What determines the reference of a name, and under what conditions do names shift reference? We’ll introduce Gareth Evans’s theory of reference, on which a name refers to the dominant source of information in that name’s “dossier,” and we then develop the theory’s notion of dominance. We conclude that whether Muslims’ (...)
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  31. added 2017-02-26
    Hick, Pluralism and Category Mistake.Akbari Reza - 2009 - International Journal of Hekmat 1 (1):101-114.
    John Hick’s theory concerning plurality of religions is an ontologic pluralism according to which all religions are authentic ways for man to attain the "real an sich". Gods of religions are real as perceived and veridical hallucinations; while the “real an sich” has ineffable substantial and trans-categorical properties. Hick’s view suffers from several problems. As a second order analysis of religions, Hick’s view is not a correct one. To reject naturalism, it falls into an epistemological circle, where distinction between formal (...)
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  32. added 2017-01-10
    Religious Diversity and Disagreement.Matthew A. Benton - 2019 - In Miranda Fricker, Peter Graham, David Henderson & Nikolaj Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 185-195.
    Epistemologists have shown increased interest in the epistemic significance of disagreement, and in particular, in whether there is a rational requirement concerning belief revision in the face of peer disagreement. This article examines some of the general issues discussed by epistemologists, and then considers how they may or may not apply to the case of religious disagreement, both within religious traditions and between religious (and non-religious) views.
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  33. added 2016-12-08
    Exclusivism Versus Pluralism in Religion: A Response to Kevin Meeker.John Hick - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (2):207.
    I argue that Meeker is mistaken in two crucial respects. First, contrary to both myself and Plantinga, he treats exclusivism as a theory about the relation between the religions, and then claims that it is superior to the pluralist theory. But he does not say what his exclusivist theory is. Second, he bases his claim of a fundamental self-contradiction in my pluralist position on a view which I disavow, namely that altruism is the core of religion. He omits the central (...)
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  34. added 2016-09-02
    The Explanatory Challenge of Religious Diversity.Jason Marsh & Jon Marsh - 2016 - In Helen De Cruz & Ryan Nichols (eds.), Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 61-83.
    The challenge from religious diversity is widely thought to be one of the most important challenges facing religious belief. Despite this consensus, however, many epistemologists think that standard versions of the challenge fail because they threaten to implicate many seemingly reasonable yet highly controversial non-religious beliefs. In light of this we develop an alternative, less discussed, diversity challenge that does not generalize. This challenge concerns why so much religious diversity exists in the first place given common religious, and in particular (...)
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  35. added 2016-08-02
    Editorial: “Controversial but Never Ignored”—John Hick and Vito Mancuso.Guy Bennett-Hunter - 2016 - Expository Times 128 (1):1–3.
    An Editorial for issue 128.1 of the Expository Times.
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  36. added 2016-06-27
    The John Hick Papers: Religious Pluralism in the Archives.Thomas William Ruston - 2016 - Expository Times 128 (1):4–19.
    Throughout his retirement, John Hick, the Philosopher of Religious Pluralism, collated a collection of papers in his home office, which had built up over the course of his career. Until now, the contents of this collection remained unknown. The collection totals 40 boxes of material and has been donated by the Hick family to the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham.1 It is a remarkable collection, which contains a lifetime’s work, including: unpublished manuscripts, journal articles, lectures, interviews on (...)
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  37. added 2016-06-27
    Religious Pluralism as an Imaginative Practice.Hans A. Alma - 2015 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 37 (2):117-140.
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  38. added 2016-06-27
    A Critique of Peter Byrne's Religious Pluralism.Robert T. Lehe - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (4):505-520.
    An interesting version of religious pluralism has been proposed by Peter Byrne in his Prolegomena to Religious Pluralism. Byrne’s pluralism attempts to unite an affirmation of the equal cognitive and salvific success of all major religions with a realist view of religious truth coupled with a severe agnosticism about specific descriptions of religious reality. I argue that Byrne’s proposal, while an improvement upon non-realist versions of pluralism, fails to resolve the tensions between its agnosticism about detailed descriptions of the sacred (...)
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  39. added 2016-06-27
    Thaddeus J. Kozinski: The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can’T Solve It: Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2010, 263 Pp, $75.00. [REVIEW]Robert McKim - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (3):259-263.
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  40. added 2016-06-27
    The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can't Solve It.Thaddeus J. Kozinski - 2010 - Lexington Books.
    This book examines three notable philosophers' attempts to solve the political problem of religious pluralism: John Rawls, Jacques Maritain, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Although many philosophers have grappled with this problem, what has not been sufficiently explored is the reciprocal relationship of foundational belief to political theory and political theory to political practice. Kozinski, using thorough research and a high level of philosophical discourse, deals with these issues directly and astutely demonstrates how any solution that does not incorporate both political philosophy (...)
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  41. added 2016-06-27
    Religious Pluralism and Turn to the Spirit Fabc's and Gavin D'Costa's Theology of Religions.Ruben C. Mendoza - 2010 - Journal of Dharma 35 (1):23-38.
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  42. added 2016-06-27
    Orthodoxy and Religious Pluralism: A Rejoinder.Perry Schmidt-Leukel - 2008 - Modern Theology 24 (2):293-297.
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  43. added 2016-06-27
    “Christian Orthodoxy and Religious Pluralism”: A Rejoinder to Gavin D'Costa.Terrence W. Tilley - 2007 - Modern Theology 23 (3):447-454.
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  44. added 2016-06-27
    Christian Orthodoxy and Religious Pluralism.Terrence W. Tilley - 2006 - Modern Theology 22 (1):51-63.
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  45. added 2016-06-27
    Schleiermacher on the Outpourings of the Inner Fire: Experiential Expressivism and Religious Pluralism.Jacqueline Marina - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (2):125-143.
    Both in the Speeches and in The Christian Faith Schleiermacher offers a comprehensive theory of the nature of religion, grounding it in experience. In the Speeches Schleiermacher grounds religion in an original unity of consciousness that precedes the subject–object dichotomy; in The Christian Faith the feeling of absolute dependence is grounded in the immediate self-consciousness. I argue that Schleiermacher's theory offers a generally coherent account of how it is possible that differing religious traditions are all based on the same experience (...)
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  46. added 2016-05-06
    Tradizioni religiose e diversità.Daniele Bertini - 2016 - Edizioni Fondazione Centro Studi Campostrini.
    Most literature on religious beliefs and disagreements among traditions focuses on a bit of mainstream assumptions: religions should be construed in substantive terms; religions are to be individuated by their core belief systems; adherents to a single tradition assent to the same belief system; religious beliefs have factual content; incompatible religious beliefs cannot be both true; and so on. In my work I question all these claims in order to defend a non kantian approach to deep pluralism. In the first (...)
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  47. added 2016-02-03
    My Understanding of the Biblical God: A Brief 'Transreligious' Reflection.Richard Oxenberg - 2015 - Interreligious Insight 25.
    In this brief paper I reflect upon the Bible's portrayal of God as pointing beyond itself toward a notion of divinity many religions can embrace, but one only imperfectly expressed in the biblical portrait itself. I argue that a fuller recognition of the *fallibility* of the biblical portrait can lead us to a deeper and more satisfying appreciation of the Bible itself.
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  48. added 2016-01-24
    William James on Pragmatism and Religion.Guy Axtell - 2018 - In Jacob Goodson (ed.), William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life: The Cries of the Wounded. London: Lexington Books. pp. 317-336.
    Critics and defenders of William James both acknowledge serious tensions in his thought, tensions perhaps nowhere more vexing to readers than in regard to his claim about an individual’s intellectual right to their “faith ventures.” Focusing especially on “Pragmatism and Religion,” the final lecture in Pragmatism, this chapter will explore certain problems James’ pragmatic pluralism. Some of these problems are theoretical, but others concern the real-world upshot of adopting James permissive ethics of belief. Although Jamesian permissivism is qualified in certain (...)
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  49. added 2015-08-13
    Gandhi, Deep Religious Pluralism, and Multiculturalism.Nicholas F. Gier - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (2):319-339.
    I’ve advanced from tolerance to equal respect for all religions.1I’ve broadened my Hinduism by loving other religions as my own.2[Gandhi’s] doctrine of the equality of religions . . . did not move towards a single global religion, but enjoins us all to become better expressions of our own faith, being enriched in the process by influences from other faiths.3At first glance the religious philosophy of Mohandas K. Gandhi appears to be a version of the perennial philosophy, the main proponent of (...)
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  50. added 2015-08-13
    Trinity and Religious Pluralism: The Doctrine of the Trinity in Christian Theology of Religions. By Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen.Ken Alan Jung - 2011 - Heythrop Journal 52 (5):838-839.
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