Nonreductive Pluralism and Religious Dialogue

Muhammad Legenhausen

in Between Heaven and Hell

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199945399
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980796 | DOI:
Nonreductive Pluralism and Religious Dialogue

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In chapter 7, Muhammad Legenhausen challenges the pluralist paradigm according to which the major religions are only compatible if they are reduced to their commonalities. The fundamental problem with this “reductive” approach is that it dismisses what most adherents and theologians of a particular tradition would consider fundamental beliefs and doctrines. As an alternative, Legenhausen makes the case for “non-reductive pluralism,” a form of “pluralism” that accepts (with qualification) the salvific efficacy of paths other than Islam, while affirming Islamic supersessionism and giving preference to the truth claims of Islamic scripture. This “non-reductive” approach, Legenhausen submits, need not undermine attempts to promote interreligious harmony: differing conceptions of the truth should not lead to disrespect of the Other if there is widespread acceptance of and adherence to a collegial ethic of disagreement—an ethic that promotes respect toward advocates of rival theories and traditions.

Keywords: Islam; Muslim; Salvation; diversity (or: religious diversity); philosophy of religion; pluralism; exclusivism; Shi’i; heaven; hell

Chapter.  11559 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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