Pluralism and Relativism

Joseph Runzo

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195340136
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Pluralism and Relativism

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An ever-increasing awareness of religious diversity inevitably raises religious and philosophical issues about pluralism and relativism in religion. Those already in a religious tradition can no longer ignore the religions of others, much less the variant strands of religious belief and practice within their own tradition. Likewise, the anti-religious can no longer facilely dismiss religious belief under one lump rubric. But then, how should we go about comparing, contrasting, and evaluating the claims of the diverse traditions, strands, offshoots, geographic variations, and cultural variants of the world's religions? Is only one system of religious truth claims correct, is more than one system correct as religious pluralists and relativists claim, or are all religious systems mistaken? This article discusses the history of religious pluralism and relativism, as well as responses to the problem of religious pluralism, religious exclusivism versus religious pluralism, pluralism and religion, religious pluralism as religious inclusivism, henofideism, and interreligious dialogue and ethics.

Keywords: religious pluralism; religious relativism; religious exclusivism; religion; religious inclusivism; henofideism; interreligious dialogue; ethics

Article.  7091 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion ; Philosophy of Religion

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