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Challenges to Religious Pluralism

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Religious Faith Religious Diversity Religious Pluralism True Teaching Christian Theism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Imran Aijaz, ‘Belief, Providence and Eschatology: Some Philosophical Problems in Islamic Theism’, Philosophy Compass, 2008, 3(1): 231–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Alvin Plantinga, ‘Ad Hick’, Faith and Philosophy, 1997, 14(3): 296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Kelly James Clark, ‘Perils of Pluralism’, Faith and Philosophy, 1997, 14(3): 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran (Brentwood. MD: Amana Corp., 1993)Google Scholar
  5. 24.
    Aijaz, ‘Belief, Providence and Eschatology’, p. 239. The quote itself is from, Toshihiko Izutsu, The Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology (Basingstoke: Yurindo, 1965), pp. 7–8.Google Scholar
  6. 26.
    D. B. Macdonald, ‘Fitra’, in Encyclopaedia of Islam (ed.) H. A. R. Gibb [et al.] (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960-[i.e., 1954-]-2001), pp. 931–932.Google Scholar
  7. 32.
    J. J. G. Jansen, ‘Mu’Min’, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, by H.A.R. Gibb [et al.] (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960-[i.e.1954-] — <2001), pp. 554–555.Google Scholar
  8. 46.
    A recent paper on the work of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya suggests that universal salvation may be compatible with an exclusivist perspective. Ibn al-Qayyim argues that every person will eventually be encompassed by God’s mercy. He maintains that hell is not merely punitive, but also therapeutic, i.e., a person will be cleansed from their sins, including the sin of non-belief. See Jon Hoover, ‘Islamic Universalism: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s Salafī Deliberations on the Duration of Hell-Fire’, The Muslim World, January 2009, 99(1): 181–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zain Ali 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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