Sophia 53 (4):479-496 (2014)

Richard Amesbury
Arizona State University
In the late nineteenth century, European philosophical theologians concerned about the perceived threat of secularity played a crucial role in the construction of the category of ‘religion,’ conceived as a transcultural universal, the genus of which the so-called ‘world religions’ are species. By reading the work of the late John Hick (1922–2012), the most influential contemporary philosophical advocate of religious pluralism, through an historically informed hermeneutic of suspicion, this paper argues that orientalist-derived understandings of religion continue to play a significant (though often unacknowledged) role within the philosophy of religion today. Though couched in the language of pluralism, Hick’s later work in the philosophy of religion functions apologetically to maintain a version of the religious–secular distinction that, while theologically and politically loaded, is, I show, philosophically arbitrary. Moving the philosophy of religion beyond Eurocentrism, I argue, will require freeing it from the logic of the modern understanding of religion
Keywords John Hick  World religions  Cultural history of the study of religion  Secular  Secularization  Orientalism  Philosophy of religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-013-0394-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,290
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Hinduism.[author unknown] - 1992 - Library of Congress Office Library of Congress Photoduplication Service.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

John Hick and Comparative Philosophy: A Critical Evaluation of Religious Pluralism.Shin Ahn - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 8:15-21.
A Conception of the Philosophy of Religion.Piotr Moskal - 2008 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 56 (1):221-237.
Religion as an Alternative of the Contemporary Chaos.Stefan Vlahov-Micov - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 45:365-371.


Added to PP index

Total views
36 ( #318,116 of 2,518,866 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,861 of 2,518,866 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes