‘There is No Common Denominator for World Religions’: The Positive Meaning of this Negative Statement

  • Masao Abe
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


The most serious and crucial question in the current situation of religious pluralism is whether there is a basic unity or common denominator for world religions. After examining the positive and negative views concerning this question as presented by various theologians and religious scholars, the author points out that both the positive and the negative views start from the dualistic question: either the religions have a common essence, or they do not. He suggests overcoming this dualistic question itself and realizing that there is a common denominator neither in the affirmative nor in the negative sense. If we accept the no-commondenominator stance in all religious traditions, then a positionless position, a standpoint that is free from any position, is opened up. The clear realization that there is no common denominator for all world religions would serve as the common basis for the pluralistic situation of world religions.


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Copyright information

© Masao Abe 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masao Abe
    • 1
  1. 1.Nara University of EducationJapan

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