Theology amid Religious Diversity

Gavin D'Costa

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Theology amid Religious Diversity

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From the first days of the early church, Christians were confronted with religious pluralism. The Roman Empire was teeming with different religious cults. Three interesting attitudes to this religiously pluralist reality are discernible within the first few centuries that continue to shape the experience of most contemporary Christians. First, there was a clear emphasis on the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation. Second, some early Christian intellectuals had learned greatly from Greek philosophy and could not help but wonder at the wisdom they had found there: truths that were consonant with revelation, moral exhortation of a high order, and, indeed, philosophical frameworks that allowed for the sophisticated explication of Christian revelation and for its defense against philosophical attacks. Third, the early Christians were faced with the question of the righteous of Israel. Much of the modern debate is affected by the extent to which modernity has shaped theology. This article examines theology and religious diversity, medieval and reformed Christianity, and the development of theological traditions during the modern period.

Keywords: Christianity; modernity; theology; Roman Empire; religious pluralism; Christians; faith; salvation; revelation; Israel

Article.  5727 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion ; Philosophy of Religion

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