On Religious Diversity

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book explores some responses to religious diversity, with particular attention to attitudes that a member of a religious tradition might take to the beliefs and salvific prospects of outsiders. The book aims to provide deeper analyses of the familiar options of exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism than have previously been provided. Much attention is focused on the question of whether more than one religious tradition might give a correct account of reality. This is the issue of truth. There is also much attention to questions about salvation, or whatever the goal of a tradition may be, whether this is understood to consist in enlightenment, liberation from rebirth, moksha, samadhi, Nirvana, union with God, or something else. There is detailed examination of many positions, including inclusivism about truth and inclusivism about salvation. For example, we might think of inclusivism about truth as involving both the idea that others may be right about beliefs that we do not hold and an openness on our part to learning from them. Some versions of salvific inclusivism involve a single route to salvation and some involve multiple routes. But all versions contend that while salvation is available to outsiders, they are not as well situated with respect to salvation as are insiders. This might, for example, be because whatever salvific efficacy their tradition possesses is derived from the insider's tradition. The religiously ambiguous nature of the human situation is treated at length. On account of this ambiguity, people with different perspectives on religious matters have their own bodies of evidence to which they can appeal, and each person can have access only to a small portion of the available evidence. Some responses to outsiders, such as curiosity about their views and avoiding judgment about their salvific status, are advocated in light of this ambiguity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York City
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages184
ISBN (Electronic)9780199932610
ISBN (Print)9780199774029
StatePublished - May 24 2012


  • Exclusivism
  • Inclusivism
  • Pluralism
  • Religious ambiguity
  • Religious diversity
  • Salvation
  • Salvific inclusivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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