Religious Pluralism and Pragmatist Theology

Openness and Resistance


Inspired by pragmatism, this book addresses religious plurality with the aim of bringing forth how it may be approached constructively by Christian theology. Accordingly, not doctrine, but practices are focussed in its analyses of interreligious topics. Henriksen argues that engagement with the diversity of religious traditions should be grounded in openness towards the other, and resistance against making others similar to oneself. Accordingly, the book presents a theological approach where interaction between religious practitioners is considered a benefit and a necessity for the positive future of religious traditions. It will be of interest to anyone who is interested in the understanding of religious pluralism from the point of view of Christian theology.

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Jan-Olav Henriksen (b. 1961), Dr. theol. & Dr. philos., is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo, and Professor of Contemporary Religion at Agder University, Kristiansand.
"Perspective matters! One can approach religious pluralism through fixed sets of doctrinal positions or through critical and self-critical explorations of religious practices and the human relationships which they enable. Henriksen follows the latter path and presents an exciting discussion of the phenomenon of religion and of theology as a relational discipline. Here, the experience of religious otherness inspires mutually critical transformation. This book encourages the reader to retrieve faith, hope and love in our globalising world and to assess the rich contribution of religious traditions for a deeper understanding of God, self and other." — Werner G. Jeanrond, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oslo
"This well-researched and well-written book makes a compelling argument for the need for Christian inter-religious engagement, with a particular emphasis on religious practices. Henriksen's use of pragmatism keeps the theological analysis focused on human flourishing, and reminds the reader of the rewards that come with doing the hard work of engaging the religious other with honesty and openness." — Kristin Johnston Largen, Professor of Systematic Theology, United Lutheran Seminary
"Far too often we see the plurality of religions as a contest of competing systems of belief. By reframing religious plurality through the lens of pragmatism, Henriksen not only opens new vistas on classical theological questions. He also illuminates new ways in which religious life and practice can create bonds between traditions and contribute to transforming the human future." — Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
1 The Other: Hermeneutics of Recognition
2 What Makes a Religion? Experience and Semiosis
3 A Basis for Comparison? On “religious experience” as Universals or Particulars
4 Who is the Other? Categories for Relationships Revisited
5 The Stuff of Religions: Dealing with the Human Condition
6 Salvation in the Context of Religious Practices
7 Truth and Religious Orientations
8 Conflict and the Common Good
9 Coming Together in Reasoning Practice
10 The Trinitarian God and the Diversity of Experiences with Religion
Epilogue: Plurality and Unity: Two metaphors for the Future of Religions
Scholars and students interested in pragmatic approaches to religious plurality.