Epistemological Openness: A Reformed Neo-Calvinist’s Theological Response to Vatican II and Comparative Theology
This chapter analyzes how soteriological exclusivism poses a fundamental problem for Reformed Christians who desire to learn from other religions and to engage with them in a non-exclusivist manner. The chapter probes the work of Catholic comparative theologians, especially Francis X. Clooney, S.J., to address whether and how Reformed theologians could attempt a similar project without the inclusivist foundations of contemporary Catholic theology. The author treats three primary questions: Can soteriological exclusivists engage in comparative theology? How can Reformed theology engage in comparative theology without reconsidering its soteriological commitments? Finally, are there any models of Reformed theology that offer an insight into the possibility of performing comparative theology? The author draws on the Neo-Calvinist tradition to argue that Reformed theology offers a unique perspective by which soteriological exclusivists can practice comparative theology, especially by distinguishing between soteriology and epistemology, and shows that a Reformed theological model exists upon which one can successfully pursue such comparative work.