Horizonte 13 (40):1826-1840 (2015)

Nostra Aetate indisputably represented at its promulgation in 1965 a momentous step forward in Catholic theology of religions. But its perspective on other religions still remains deeply "Christianity-centric" in that it views other religions from the Christian vantage-point and uses Christianity as the yardstick to evaluate them. Graphically, its theology of religions may be represented by a series of concentric circles with Christianity occupying the center of the innermost circle and other religions occupying successive circles, with increasing distance from the center, depending on the number of the elements of the true religion, which is Christianity, they possess. How would the "the relation of the Church to non-Christian Religions" look like if we start from other religions and see them on their own terms, as they see themselves, that is, not as "non-Christian," and inquire into their mutual relations? The essay begins with an examination of the theology of religions implicit in the use of the expression “non-Christian” when referring to religions other than Christianity. It is argued that the “non” is not a neutral descriptive term but represents the “fulfillment theology” of religions prevalent before and during Vatican II. Next a critique of this fulfillment theology is presented showing that it is seriously inadequate for interreligious dialogue. Finally the essay proposes a different way to conceiving the relation between Christianity and other religions by applying the insights of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, especially its rejection of supersessionism, its condemnation of the “teaching of contempt,” and its Trinitarian theology of religion. In summary, the essay attempts to formulate a Christian “kenotic theology of religion,” in which Christianity and the church no longer stand at the normative center toward which “non-Christian” religions move as their “fulfillment” and perfection. Rather all religions, including Christianity, must “empty” themselves so as to be “filled” by the “other” in mutual correction, learning, and enrichment
Keywords Trinitarian theology of religion  teologia trinitária das religiões.  teologia quenótica  Christianity-centric  cristocêntrico  teologia das religiões  theology of religions  kenotic theology of religion
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DOI 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2015v13n40p1826
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