Religious Exclusivism

Paul K. Moser

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religious Exclusivism


A system of claims of a particular kind may sometimes be called a religion, and sometimes a human commitment of a particular kind may be called a religious commitment. In general, we might say that a commitment is religious for a person if and only if the commitment is intrinsic (that is, not merely instrumental toward something else) and is intended to be life-defining (that is, intended to be constitutive of living) for that person. This article shows that some versions of religious exclusivism are undeniably true and that at least one version is undeniably false. It argues that even in the absence of explicit de dicto human acknowledgment of divine intervention and evidence, God can properly advance human redemption and judgment. As a result, in connection with redemption and judgment, we are well advised to consider human attitudes deeper than mere belief and then to understand redemptively relevant “faith” toward God accordingly. This would be in keeping with the divine redemptive purposes of a God truly worthy of worship.

Keywords: God; religious exclusivism; religion; religious commitment; divine intervention; redemption; judgment; worship; faith

Article.  5979 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion

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