A Perspective on Religious Diversity
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Max Charlesworth’s view in his “Ecumenism between the World Religions” is briefly summarised and discussed. His crucial question being, how can the different and varied claims of the world’s religions be reconciled when they are often incompatible with each other, and how can one come to terms with other religions in the world. Charlesworth sought to preserve the paradigmatic status of religions for their respective adherents yet allow for mutual recognition of value in each other.
This paper seeks to address and test the range of diversity that is allowable in Charlesworth’s position. For this purpose, the paper considers the case of Confucianism for it differs from theistic religions by not being centred on the belief in a deity. Rather, it has more to do with human attainment understood in the context of ritual and cultural forms: becoming human, and creating the community that enables such an attainment constitute the main religious project.
Although Charlesworth’s position is mainly informed by the theistic traditions, the paper concludes by agreeing with him that respect is the key attitude in interreligious dialogues.
KeywordsConfucianism Ecumenism Max Charlesworth Interreligious dialogue World religions Herbert Fingarette Gratitude Ordinary Respect
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