n HTS : Theological Studies - Christian and Buddhist approach to religious exclusivity. Do interfaith scholars have it right? : original research

Volume 72 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars are quick to denounce what they perceive as religious exclusivity. So when it comes to the major views on just how true and salvific the religions can be, it is no surprise that Exclusivism is ruled out automatically. What is surprising is how inevitable it is that when Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars commit to any view - whether Inclusivism, Pluralism, or Relativism - they themselves end up committing the sin of exclusivity. Whatever view they entertain turns out to be too exclusivistic for somebody, by having too particular a saviour (Exclusivism), too particular a salvation (Inclusivism), too particular a metaphysics (Pluralism), or too sceptical a religious outlook (Relativism). To make matters worse, the further the interfaith scholar cycles away from Exclusivism in an attempt to elude exclusivity, the further she wanders not only from Christianity, but from Buddhism as well. Thus, by attempting to unite the two religions, the interfaith scholar finds herself at odds with both sides. Truly, it seems the interfaith scholar has no place to lay her head. By consulting interfaith scholars' own writings, this paper describes their dilemma in finding such a place.

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