In this Blog’s post, we will throw light on what is pluralism of model. The popular view in the circle of Christianity holds that it is only in Christ and that the fullness of religious life is found in his church.
But on the other hand, some prominent contemporary theologians, who are at the forefront of inter-religious dialogue, believe that the “plural view” is the only adequate model for understanding the inter-faith relationship.
And earlier scholars of religion and theology were unhappy with Christian’s aggressive approach to other religions; particularly “exclusivity and inclusivism”, and began to search for internally viable and externally valid Christian perspectives; which were local and will apply both globally; especially keeping in mind the future course of religions to progress progressively toward a global or universal theology. So, in this pluralistic world of belief different models of pluralism can be incomplete or friendly use.
What is pluralism of model?
The idea of polytheism has been broadly used in correlation with the concepts of faith during the last two or three many years. Plural refers in general to etymology, “quality or nation of being plural”, philosophically, “a theory that there’s multiple fundamental substance or principle, or that fact consists of two or greater unbiased factors;” they are,”eccentrically, philosophically. Holding a couple of workplace by means of the same man or woman”, socially, means“ cultural pluralism, that is Minority groups; which predominantly take part within the dominant society, whilst maintaining their cultural differences.
In other words pluralism is a position that rejects any unique, final or conclusive claims for the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. It argues equal validity for claims from all religions. Exclusion is considered outdated and unattainable and exclusion is dismissed as being exclusive only as exclusion, pluralists argue that no religion today can claim to be the norm for the world. Knowledge of God is partial in all religions and therefore every religion should accept the validity of every other religion. Therefore, we can say that the plurality of faith tries to realize how to live in peace with people of other faith. The common understanding about religious pluralism today is that different religions exist as diverse means of knowing and experiencing God, or culturally, historically and linguistically, as the ultimate reality.
Christ was considered the ultimate goal of all religions in this model. Although religious beliefs and experiences have different practices, the ultimate goal and destination is Christ. Sj Samarth is one of the leading authors of this type of Christological inclusivism. In his book One Christ Many Religions: A Revised Christology he affirmed this type of model of pluralism.
In this model, John Hick’s move was referred to as the “Copernican Revolution” in Christian theology of religions. This indicates a paradigm shift in the principles of astronomy that was previously maintained according to Ptolemaic principles, with the Earth being the center of the universe and all other planets including the Sun revolving around the Earth. However, the Copernican theory introduced about a excellent radical exchange on this preliminary belief that the sun is the middle of the complete universe and that the earth is revolving across the sun along with different planets.
On this model it was stated that Christianity is not the focal point of all world religions, but God or the ultimate reality is the center of all religions, including Christianity. Therefore, Hick advocated the need to develop “theorist” theology rather than “excelsia-centered” or “Christ-centered” doctrines in relation to people of other religions. It was in fact a God- Focusing is the new trick of understanding.
For John Hick, all religions are diverse concepts and reactions to God. All religions lead to the same goal, and offer the same salvation. Incarnation, atonement, and salvation automatically lead to the belief that only one section of humanity, those who have confessed their faith in Christ, will survive and other non-believers
Christ thought randomly, which contradicts the original idea of the beloved God and Father of all beings. God is working in great world religions, and that the revelation in Christ is “our revelation to the people.”
As Paul F. Knitter, this Unitarian theo-centrism can also be called “a uniform pluralism of religions” that deals with “universal religious identity”. Paul F. Nighter said that without claiming that all religions are equal, Christians with a correlative mindset believe that every partner in the conversation should recognize equal rights for all religious believers in conversation at the beginning of the conversation.
This model is a special dimension of religions. Rayamundo Pannikar is one of the notable scholars of radical pluralism. He represents his pluralistic doctrine as a radical alternative in opposition to thinkers who attempt to develop a universal theology of religions by reducing plurality to some particular framework in different ways and to varying degrees. His belief that all religions are different manifestations or perceptions of the same reality or ultimate truth.
Mark Heheim’s view
Mark Heheim has a radical pluralist view that John Hick, Paul Nitter, and other pluralists generally fit the school of universal theology of religions; which perhaps failed in their efforts to truly plural.
Many of them incorrectly state that different religions focus on a single goal, whereas in reality, these religions have different end goals. As it is commonly believed, when the path is different it leads to a certain goal.
Therefore, Hem prefers to refer to “liberation” in multi-liberation. Different religions are valid as a path to specific goals. He considers those religions to be true and alternative, rather than true or false.
All religions that are true are not true in the same sense; There may be differences in beliefs, practices, principles or dogma. All religions are right, from the perspective of their faith, as the path to their set goals.
Everyone believes that their own religion is true and authentic, therefore, try to protect their faith; but it is only through openness of dialogue and mutual respect and witnessing the other and listening to the faith Can be done in context. In the process, Christian witness and experience may criticized by others from their faith perspectives and belief structures, but openness must be maintained in an inclusive manner. Heim’s radical pluralism is in strict sense inclusive pluralism.
Pluralists view (What is pluralism)
Many pluralists believe that the respective ultimate goals of different religions are, in general, to be one and the same. In that sense, salvation is the same; but only the means to achieve it are different; because the paths to reach that goal are different.
According to Hem, it enables inter-religious interactions and relationships to continue, with respect and without hatred. Many religions are not competitive for the same thing, but are seekers after different things.
Pannicker opposed the theory of the ‘Copernican Revolution’ in his understanding of world religions; and proposed the model of a “concentric solar system”. He argues that the center is neither the earth nor the sun. Rather, each solar system has its own center, and each galaxy revolves around each other. There is no absolute center. Reality itself is as thick as the center of every universe – to begin with itself.
On this type of model, religion is not the central point; but “God” is the central focus where all religions have supernatural power; or contact with the creator “God” or ultimate reality. Different religions, developed in different historical, cultural, social, political contexts, can call God “the ultimate reality” or “supernatural power”.
They can approach God using different names with different methods, methods and beliefs; but ht he main purpose of all these religions is that the “central focus” either merges with it; or gains its favor for existence to do. In a concentric model, there is no room for superiority or inferiority; but all depend and sustain that “central focus” for their existence.
Conclusion (What is pluralism)
We can compare individual planets in this universe revolving around a “central focus”; which acts as an ‘axis’ to keep contact with all the planets. If at any time any of these two planets move in a chaotic manner; there can be a big problem in the universe. Similarly, problems arise when one religion claims superiority over another.
We must reject the excluded view of religion where we live with different people from other religions. Therefore, to achieve this goal; different models of pluralism among different religions help us to understand and experience the need to understand.