Interreligious dialogue is one of the major challenges confronting contemporary theology. In particular, the so-called "dialogical tension" between openness and identity has been a central issue: Can one maintain one's religious identity without closing oneself off from the other? In general, Christian reflection on interreligious dialogue begins with a theological reflection on religious plurality that assumes that one cannot engage seriously in interreligious dialogue without a sound theology of religions. In this book Marianne Moyaert critically assesses the various models for a Christian theology of religions (exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism, particularism) by asking how these models relate to the dialogical tension between openness and identity. She argues that we need to overcome the classical theological approach of religious plurality and move in the direction of a theological hermeneutics of interreligious hospitality. To that end she turns to the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, whose philosophical and hermeneutical insights can give a new turn to the discussion of the criteria, possibilities, and particularly the limits of interreligious dialogue.
Marianne Moyaert is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Religious Studies and Interreligious Dialogue at the Faculty of Theology, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. An expert in Judaism, particularly Catholic-Jewish dialogue and post-Holocaust studies, Moyaert's broad area of research is the contemporary context of cultural and religious diversity as a theological, hermeneutical and ethical challenge.
Introduction Approach The Theology of Religions Religious Plurality: A New Theological Challenge? The Theology of Religions Exclusivism Inclusivism Pluralism Conclusion The Theology of Religions and the Tension between Openness and Closedness Interreligious Dialogue in the Exclusivist Model Inclusivism and Interreligious Dialogue Interreligious Dialogue and Pluralism Conclusion A Critique of the Pluralist Model of Interreligious Dialogue The Virtue of Openness: Pluralism as Confessional Discourse Pluralism and the Inability to do Justice to Difference Pluralism and "Faith Commitment": The Difference between Expression and Impression Conclusion The Cultural-Linguistic Theory, Postliberalism, and Religious Incommensurability Biographical Reflections and Theological Concerns The Cultural-Linguistic Theory of Religion and Ecumenism Postliberalism and the Cultural Crisis Postliberalism, The Theology of Religions, and Interreligious Dialogue Conclusion The End of Dialogue? A Theological Critique of Postliberalism The "Reception History" of the Cultural-Linguistic Model Intermezzo Intratextual Hermeneutics and the End of Dialogue A Theological Critique of Postliberalism: Dichotomy or Dialogue? Concluding Reflections on Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Hermeneutical Openness Interreligious Dialogue and Hermeneutical Openness The Analogy between Language and Religion A Theological Hermeneutics of the Story of Babel Linguistic Hospitality Hermeneutical Openness as Linguistic Hospitality Narrative Identity Conclusion: A Theology of Interreligious Hospitality Testimony and Openness: A Theological Perspective Fragility and Human Restlessness Balm for the Soul: The Generosity of the Feast Bibliography Index of Subjects Index of Names