Early in the nineteenth century Ernst Troeltsch, the great German liberal thinker, published the influential essay "The Place of Christianity Among the World Religions." The question of the relation of Christianity to other religions is every bit as relevant as and perhaps even more urgent today than it was then.
Beginning with a consideration of the biblical perspective, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen surveys the variety of diverse answers proposed by teachers of the church down through the ages. His reviews include the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, as well as those of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and a broad selection of later Protestant and Catholic thinkers. He completes the historical section with an astute look at the radical challenges of Enlightenment and classical liberalism and the emergence of the fulfillment theory of religions.
The bulk of Kärkkäinen's work provides a detailed and comprehensive survey of major confessional movements and theologians' opinions on the contemporary scene. Kärkkäinen provides succinct and trenchant descriptions of a wide diversity of theologians, including Karl Barth, Hendrik Kraemer, Paul Althaus, Karl Rahner, Hans Küng, Jacques Dupuis, Gavin D'Costa, Paul Tillich, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lesslie Newbigin and M. M. Thomas, as well as Sir Norman Anderson, Clark Pinnock, Amos Yong, John Hick, Stanley Samartha, Raimundo Panikkar, Paul Knitter, Millard Erickson, Harold Netland and Vinoth Ramachandra.
An Introduction to the Theology of Religions is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to grasp and work their way through the full range of alternatives offered in answer to the question, What is the relation of Christianity to other religions?
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Christian Theology of Religions As a Theological DisciplinePart 1: Biblical Perspectives: The Ambiguity and Promise of the Biblical Testimony
1. The Overview of Biblical Testimony
2. The Old Testament
3. The New Testament
4. Religion(s) in the BiblePart 2: Historical Developments
5. Limited Openness to Other Religions Among Some Early Church Fathers
6. "Outside the Church No Salvation": The Consolidation of the Exclusive Attitude
7. The Meaning of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus for the Contemporary Church
8. Positive Attitudes Toward Other Religions After the Early Fathers
9. The Radical Challenge of the Enlightenment and Classical Liberalism
10. The Fulfillment Theory of ReligionsPart 3: The Current Scene: Ecclesiastical Approaches
11. The Response of the Roman Catholic Church
12. The Response of the Anglican and Episcopalian Churches
13. The Response of Mainline Protestant Churches
14. The Response of the Free Churches
15. The Response of the Evangelical Movement
16. The Response of the Ecumenical MovementPart 4: The Current Scene: Theologians' Interpretations
17. Orientation to the Study of Theologians of Religions
Ecclesiocentrism: Early Approaches
18. Karl Barth: Religion as Unbelief
19. Hendrik Kraemer: Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life
20. Paul Althaus: "Original Revelation" in Religions
Christocentrism 1: Roman Catholics
21. Karl Rahner: "Anonymous Christians"
22. Hans Küng: Religions as the "Ordinary Way of Salvation"
23. Jacques Dupuis: "Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism"
24. Gavin D'Costa: Trinitarian Theology of Religions
Christocentrism 2: Mainline Protestants
25. Paul Tillich: The Dynamic-Typological Approach to Religions
26. Wolfhart Pannenberg: Religions Competing for the Universal Truth
27. Lesslie Newbigin: The Gospel as Public Truth
28. M. M. Thomas: "Risking Christ for Christ's Sake"
Christocentrism 3: Evangelicals
29. Sir Norman Anderson: Unique Savior but Nonexclusive Salvation
30. Clark Pinnock: A Wideness in God's Mercy
31. Amos Yong: A Pneumatological Theology of Religions
32. John Hick: The Copernican Revolution of Religions
33. Stanley J. Samartha: One Christ, Many Religions
34. Raimundo Panikkar: The Unknown Christ of Hinduism
35. Paul F. Knitter: Jesus and the Other Names
Ecclesiocentrism: Contemporary Approaches
The Proliferation of Ecclesiocentric Approaches Among Evangelicals
36. Millard J. Erickson: No Other Name
37. Harold Netland: The Enigma of Pluralism
38. Vinoth Ramachandra: The Recovery of Mission
39. The Current Scene: Critical Reflections and Questions
Epilogue: The Way Forward