Fragile Identities

Towards a Theology of Interreligious Hospitality

Interreligious dialogue is one of the major challenges confronting contemporary theology. In particular, the so-called “dialogical tension” between openness and identity has been a central issue: Can one maintain one’s religious identity without closing oneself off from the other? In general, Christian reflection on interreligious dialogue begins with a theological reflection on religious plurality that assumes that one cannot engage seriously in interreligious dialogue without a sound theology of religions. In this book Marianne Moyaert critically assesses the various models for a Christian theology of religions (exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism, particularism) by asking how these models relate to the dialogical tension between openness and identity. She argues that we need to overcome the classical theological approach of religious plurality and move in the direction of a theological hermeneutics of interreligious hospitality. To that end she turns to the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, whose philosophical and hermeneutical insights can give a new turn to the discussion of the criteria, possibilities, and particularly the limits of interreligious dialogue.

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Marianne Moyaert is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Religious Studies and Interreligious Dialogue at the Faculty of Theology, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. An expert in Judaism, particularly Catholic-Jewish dialogue and post-Holocaust studies, Moyaert’s broad area of research is the contemporary context of cultural and religious diversity as a theological, hermeneutical and ethical challenge.
Introduction
Approach
The Theology of Religions
Religious Plurality: A New Theological Challenge?
The Theology of Religions
Exclusivism
Inclusivism
Pluralism
Conclusion
The Theology of Religions and the Tension between Openness and Closedness
Interreligious Dialogue in the Exclusivist Model
Inclusivism and Interreligious Dialogue
Interreligious Dialogue and Pluralism
Conclusion
A Critique of the Pluralist Model of Interreligious Dialogue
The Virtue of Openness: Pluralism as Confessional Discourse
Pluralism and the Inability to do Justice to Difference
Pluralism and “Faith Commitment”: The Difference between Expression and Impression
Conclusion
The Cultural-Linguistic Theory, Postliberalism, and Religious Incommensurability
Biographical Reflections and Theological Concerns
The Cultural-Linguistic Theory of Religion and Ecumenism
Postliberalism and the Cultural Crisis
Postliberalism, The Theology of Religions, and Interreligious Dialogue
Conclusion
The End of Dialogue? A Theological Critique of Postliberalism
The “Reception History” of the Cultural-Linguistic Model
Intermezzo
Intratextual Hermeneutics and the End of Dialogue
A Theological Critique of Postliberalism: Dichotomy or Dialogue?
Concluding Reflections on Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Hermeneutical Openness
Interreligious Dialogue and Hermeneutical Openness
The Analogy between Language and Religion
A Theological Hermeneutics of the Story of Babel
Linguistic Hospitality
Hermeneutical Openness as Linguistic Hospitality
Narrative Identity
Conclusion: A Theology of Interreligious Hospitality
Testimony and Openness: A Theological Perspective
Fragility and Human Restlessness
Balm for the Soul: The Generosity of the Feast
Bibliography
Index of Subjects
Index of Names