Inclusivism

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Inclusivism, one of several approaches to understanding the relationship between religions, asserts that while one set of beliefs is absolutely true, other sets of beliefs are at least partially true. It stands in contrast to exclusivism, which asserts that only one way is true and all others are in error. It is a particular form of religious pluralism, though that term may also assert that all beliefs are equally valid within a believer's particular context.

Broadly speaking, there are two schools of Inclusivist thought:

Strands of both types of Inclusivist thought run through all faiths.

Ancient Greece[edit]

Interpretatio graeca the common tendency of ancient Greek writers to equate foreign divinities to members of their own pantheon. Herodotus, for example, refers to the ancient Egyptian gods Amon, Osiris and Ptah as "Zeus," "Dionysus" and "Hephaestus." This could be seen an example of inclusivism, as could syncretism.

Syncretism functionized as an essential feature of Ancient Greek religion. Overall, Hellenistic culture in the age that followed Alexander the Great itself showed syncretist features, essentiially blending of Persian, Anatolian, Egyptian (and eventually Etruscan-Roman) elements within an Hellenic formula. The Egyptian god Amun developed as the Hellenized Zeus Ammon after Alexander the Great went into the desert to seek out Amun's oracle at Siwa.

Christianity[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Islam[edit]

Hinduism[edit]

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1967), 65. For a study of Lewis on this topic see John Sanders, No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Unevangelized (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992), 251-257.
  2. ^ Wesley, "On Faith" in The Works of John Wesley, third edition volume 7 (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1986), 197. For other texts by Wesley on the topic see John Sanders,No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Unevangelized (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992),249-251.
  3. ^ Clark Pinnock, A Wideness in God's Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992)
  4. ^ "I Can't Play God Anymore" interview with James M. Beam, McCall's Magazine, (January 1978), pp. 154-158
  5. ^ (The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh" in World Order, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1972–73))
  6. ^ [1]