Challenges to Religious Pluralism

  • Zain Ali
Part of the Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion book series (PFPR)


My aim in this chapter is to evaluate three distinct challenges to the pluralism that is associated with the Jamesian account of faith. I have previously noted that the Jamesian account can be employed by a reflective atheist, Christian or Jew. The reason why the account is broadly applicable is that the question of entitlement to believe in God can arise for the atheist, Jew or Christian, in much the same way as it arises for the reflective Muslim. If reflective individuals, on considering the question of whether God exists conclude that the question cannot be decided on intellectual grounds, and they also find that they have a passionally caused belief which decides a genuine option, then they are entitled to a venture beyond the evidence. The constraints associated with the Jamesian account thus allow for a plurality of entitlements, some of which are mutually exclusive of each other. For example, if the reflective Muslim satisfies the constraints of the Jamesian account, then they are entitled to act on their belief. Similarly, the reflective atheist can also be entitled to venture if they also satisfy the Jamesian constraints. If a person, such as the reflective Muslim, were to endorse the Jamesian account, they would also have to concede that the account permits ventures that are incompatible with their own.


Religious Faith Religious Diversity Religious Pluralism True Teaching Christian Theism 
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© Zain Ali 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zain Ali
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AucklandNew Zealand

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