An Exposition and Defence of Jayanta Bhatta’s Inclusivism

In David Cheetham, Ulrich Winkler, Oddbjørn Leirvik & Judith Gruber (eds.), Interreligious Hermeneutics in Pluralistic Europe: Between Texts and People. Brill. pp. 49-55 (2011)

David Slakter
University of Liverpool (PhD)
In the Āgamaḍambara (‘Much Ado About Religion’), Bhaṭṭa Jayanta presents an argument for an inclusivist approach to the problem of religious diversity, building upon some of the arguments given in his Nyāyamañjarī. Although his arguments are restricted to consideration of a form of Hinduism particular in time and place, I argue that Jayanta’s solution to the problem of religious diversity has wide-ranging relevance and some applicability to contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion. I consider possible pluralist objections to inclusivism, such as those given by John Hick in An Interpretation of Religion and elsewhere. In response to these objections, I argue that an inclusivism like Jayanta’s addresses all the reasons someone might have for adopting a pluralist position and in fact does so better than the pluralists by remaining within a live religious tradition.
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