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Pluralism: a New Paradigm for Theology (Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs) [Paperback]

Pluralism: a New Paradigm for Theology (Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs) [Paperback]

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Item description for Pluralism: a New Paradigm for Theology (Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs) by Ac Gillis...

Methodologically, Gillis suggests that Christian thology be constructed not only with an awareness of, but also using the data of, other religions. Theologically, he defends the position of pluralism and investigates the implications of this for soteriology, christology and ethics. As practical theology, he offers suggestions for the conduct of interreligious dialogue on the local level. Georgetown University. He holds a Licentiate degree in Philosophy and the M.A. in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven. His Ph. D. in Theology is from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is author of "A Question of Final Belief" (Peeters 1993)

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Peeters Publishers
Pages   185
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1993
Publisher   David Brown
ISBN  9068314688  
ISBN13  9789068314687  

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More About Ac Gillis

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Chester Gillis is associate professor of Theology and Catholic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is the author of A Question of Final Belief and Pluralism: A New Paradigm for Theology.

Chester Gillis currently resides in the state of District Of Columbia. Chester Gillis was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Georgetown University.

Chester Gillis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Columbia Contemporary American Religion (Paperback)

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity

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An intelligent treatment of the question of salvations  Nov 11, 2000
In the contemporary religious situation, it is no longer possible for Christianity to regard itself in the insular manner which has characterized so much of its historical relationships with other traditions. Rather, with the technology's breakdown of cultural and geographical boundaries, Christians cannot consider themselves exclusively within their own community, but must also position themselves responsibly with respect to the world's other major religious traditions and adopt a philosophical stance toward these other faiths. These stances have taken three principal forms: exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism. Exclusivism and pluralism are problematic for a Christian approach to the contemporary situation because they do not address the fact that all of the major faith traditions make faith claims and have notions of eschatological fulfillment which, in the grounds of public verifiability and coherence in discourse, are equally valid. Thus, to publicly adopt a philosophical stance which privileges the faith claims of Christianity over those of other religions is ot raise internal, confessional faith convictions ot the level of absolute public truth. Gillis argues convincingly in his book that with pluralism, the paradigm that is most sensitive to the fact of diverse religious claims worldwide, the truth claims of any one faith are relativized in the light of the parity between the faiths' competing claims. The conflict in terms of matters of religion, Gillis argues, is that there are no grounds upon which one can philosophically base religious claims in an absolute manner. Absolute claims that use philosophical language, such as "it is the case that...," appeal to an objective ontological truth which simply cannot be verified in matters of religious faith. In issues of God or whatever name one gives to the Absolute, such objective claims simply cannot coherently be made and supported publicly in inter-faith discourse.

Exclusivism, as Gillis defines it, arrogantly elevates Christianity's claims avove those of other faiths and denies salvation to anyone who does not share these claims. It implies an objective quality to its claims by maintaining that Christianity is the only path to salvation. Inclusivism attempts to pull other faiths in under the "umbrella" of Christian salvation. It asserts that other faiths lead one to salvation in Christ by virtue of the fact that through these traditions, one implicitly seeks to affirm Christian grace and Christian salvation through Jesus Christ. Thus, inclusivism also does not allow for other salvations as the other traditions might choose to define them, but rather re-defines their salvation on their Christian terms. Gillis' book is outstanding in that in it, he considers these issues of inter-faith relations in a global community with a sensitivity not found in the exclusivist and inclusivist positions. Rather, he opts for pluralism, through which he states that in the contemporary, globally-interrelated state of religious affairs, it is no longer logical for any one faith to maintain that it can make claims upon absolute ultimate reality. Gillis' more circumspect position allows the various world faiths to exist on an equal ground, without the triumphalism which can at times infect religions' perspectives on other faiths. Pluralism affirms the equality of the major faith traditions' truth claims, and the equal possibility each holds for its particular vision of salvation or liberation. Pluralism, as Gillis defines and discusses it, remains the most tenable perspective from which to regard the relationship of "salvific parity" between faiths, as with the expansion of our knowledge of the diverse and complex religious universe, one no longer needs to believe that Christ is exclusively the sole way to any form of salvation or liberation.


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