Talk:Religious pluralism

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Dominus Jesus[edit]

The Catholic Church (Cal Ratzinger) has reaffirmed its opposition to religious pluralism (see the document called Dominus Jesus) this should be noted! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.205.142.75 (talk) 05:57, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Any criticisms?[edit]

Reading the article it does not look like many people (except some fervent religious sects) have opposed religious pluralism. Is this true? How is religious pluralism linked to relativism ? Does one lead to the other?

Talk Archiving[edit]

The old talk pages were unwieldy and had falled into disuse. I archived them. There was no useful discussion about the merger proposal or NPOV dispute. Hopefully, the interested parties will now post. PhatJew 11:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)


Someone needs to write the Sikh point of view of this topic (Religious pluralism). BrownMan84 4:58, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Graceful co-existence[edit]

I propose to replace the phrase 'peaceful co-existence' with 'graceful co-existence' --Ancheta Wis 09:11, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Disagree 'graceful' has a particular meaning in Christian theology which does not apply here. Maybe "Harmonious coexistence" or something like that. -- Chris Q 15:26, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
OK. Thanks for the sanity check. --Ancheta Wis 23:42, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Pluralism of articles[edit]

Recently I expanded on the religious intolerance article, adding a section on contemporary attitudes and policies. Inevitably being as it is a survey of law and attitudes regarding the issue it also covers those countries with laws against religious intolerence. However, since these laws could also be seen as promoting religious pluralism, promoting religious tolerance, promoting religious freedom or preventing religious persecution I must admit to being at a loss as to where it is most suitable. Do we really need separate articles on religous freedom, tolerence, pluralism, intolerence and persecution? I have to say it seems somewhat excessive. In any case, I'd appreciate some feedback on the section I added to religious intolence, and some suggestion as to where the content would be most appropriate. Daduzi 23:01, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I just glimsped over religious intolerance quickly and it seems good. I'll take a more indepth look in the near future. In regards to which articles should exist, I agree that there is too many. The religious tolerance article seems to me not well written, and so I would comine religious tolerance and religious intolerance into one article. I also see religious freedom, religious persecution and religious pluralsim as subtopics of religious tolerance/intolerance, I think they should be summarized in the religious tolerance/intolerance article, and have a main link to their appropriate pages. -- Jeff3000 23:11, 23 March 2006 (UTC)


What would you think about following the systemic bias thread of reasoning? At the least it would lift up the discussion out of its current tracks within law, country, region etc. and give it a global basis. Another possibility might be to follow a completely personal track (individual pluralism / individual practice of religion). Yet another possibility might be to cover the political power of each culture and the relationship of each culture to its religion(s), and its possible evolution over time. It is pretty clear to me that an individual following his nose on a religious choice is doomed to annihilation if he contravenes the laws of his host culture or society. Yet enough individuals acting en masse can change the culture or society, and eventually, the laws. That leads us to the concept of tipping point. This suggests that the religious pluralism article might be the best venue, as any culture where intolerance or persecution is the mode would beat back any move toward a tipping point with violence. --Ancheta Wis 23:27, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The Impossible Article[edit]

Religious Pluralism is one of the few articles that Wikipedia cannot create. Because, in order to stay at least somewhat united in purpose and function, Wikipedians must have similar viewpoints and biases, constituting a community of Tolerance more than anything. Tolerance and pluralism are certainly related, but nonetheless incompatible. The disorganization of this article and the disputes that constantly surround it are not only inevitable, but show how this is The Impossible Article for Wikipedia.

69.197.111.78 03:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that is unduly pessimistic. There are good articles on many controversial topics. -- Chris Q 09:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


Geographical mention?[edit]

Many religions in the United States, for example, teach that theirs is the only way to salvation and to religious truth, and some of them would even argue that it is necessary to suppress the falsehoods taught by other religions. The Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, with many other Protestant sects, argue fiercely against Roman Catholicism, and fundamentalist Christians of all kinds teach that religious practices like those of paganism and witchcraft are pernicious. I'm editing that because not at all sure how this is related to "religions in the United States"--it's not their "United States-ness" that is the defining characterization, but there exclusivist theology. (Also, this is a problem in many parts of the world, not least in Taliban Afghanistan, where the Buddhas were destroyed.) Further, even groups which have an exclusivist theology are capable of co-existing (tolerance), even while they are actively preaching that everyone else is wrong. They do, after all, co-exist without incident most of the time. Miss w 16:33, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Narrow point of view[edit]

Sounds like all you guys live in Massachusetts. There is the rest of the world, you know. And for that matter, the rest of the country. Please consider the narrowness of your cultural vision. Perhaps reading more articles about other parts of the world would help you out. NLOleson 02:24, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

This comment is completely opaque. What are you trying to say? You applied a POV tag, but are leaving other editors to guess at what a Massachusetts point of view on the subject of religious pluralism might be, and where in this article it might be over-represented. Jkelly 03:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. What on Earth does that mean? Yes, I'm currently from Massachusetts, but I was also from Buffalo and have lived in Albuquerque, and, more to the point, did my undergrad work in comparative religion. I did focus on U.S. religion (because I find it interesting), but I didn't note anything in the article that screamed "Massachusetts" or even "New England" (usually associated with a heavy-handed philosophical moralism as opposed to pragmatism or charismatic movements, though of course there were often charismatic leaders and pragmatists involved). Miss w 11:21, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Relligious Pluralism Article[edit]

I note what appears to be a mistaken beleif that the Muslim faith denies Christ was crucified. My limitd knowledge of the Koran indicates that Mohammed wrote that Christ was crucified but "merely fainted" on the cross, etc. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 65.6.147.94 (talk) 11:58, 17 January 2007 (UTC).

Is this article about religious pluralism or religious tolerance?[edit]

I realize that some people use the terms interchangeably, but since there is a religious tolerance article already, I would suggest that this article be about the first definition in the intro:

  • Religious Pluralism may describe the worldview that one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and thus recognizes that some level of truth and value exists in at least some other religions.

I will call this "definition 1" for short. The problem with the current article is that the sections keep switching between definitions without making it clear which definition is being discussed. For example, "The belief that all religions can teach truths" is about definition 1, "Pluralism as interfaith dialogue" is partly about religious tolerance but mostly about ecumenism, "Conditions for the existence of religious pluralism" is entirely about religious tolerance. In addition to being confusing, there is a not-so-subtle (although perhaps to some extent accidental) implication that those who reject definition 1 of religious pluralism also reject ecumenism and/or religious tolerance. CyborgTosser (Only half the battle) 03:25, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

This article is pretty terrible, so go ahead and change it in any way you think will improve it. Regards, -- Jeff3000 03:35, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Classical Christian View?[edit]

I'm not a religious scholar but I don't think that the "classical Christian view" presented in this article really represents the entirety of Christian belief. Honestly, it sounds like the words of a preacher in a traditional Protestant church. Certainly the views conflict with the traditional Roman Catholic Church which propose that faith alone is not sufficient for salvation. From the Roman Catholic view the good works of man are necessary in order to achieve salvation. Since this view takes some of the weight off of accepting Christ and places it on good deeds there is an inherent logical progression to pluralism. Increasingly, Roman Catholic scholars and laypeople have taken the significance of the works of man to accept the possibilty of those who do good deeds, but are not Christian, being "saved."

I wonder if the writer of this section is so biased against religious pluralism that he or she is unable to be pluralistic about ideas within his or her own religion. Oh, and get some references in there... Pastor Bob doesn't count. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jonathanvitale (talkcontribs) 17:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC).


Poor Writing[edit]

The initial paragraph is poorly-written and in some cases not even comprehensible. Note:

Quote: Adherents of religious pluralism reject religious relativism. They do not believe that religious truth is relative. Same thing, written two different ways. Adherents of religious pluralism recognize that different religions make different truth claims.Is there some group that declares that all religions make the same truth claims? Also, can someone be an "adherent" of pluralism? That religions may apparently contradict each other but on closer examination may be widely different claims. This is not a complete sentence, and I don't know what the person what was even trying to say. Therefore all religions can be true as far as their own truth-claims are concerned. This sounds like an advocation of the position, rather than an explanation of it. For example, most Christians believe that Jesus was God incarnate and that he died for the salvation of humanity while Buddhists believe that meditation is the path to enlightenment which liberates the soul from the cycle of rebirth so that it may enter into Nirvana. Christians do not claim that Christ leads to Nirvana nor are Buddhists claiming that Buddha is the son of God. Therefore neither Christianity or Buddhism can claim absolute truth but both can be true. This is a poor explanation of both religions, and sounds again like an advocate rather than a description.

In general, the article could be improved by referring to other articles. A lot of the article sounds like an attempt to define multiculturalism rather than pluralism. 70.23.48.228 11:40, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this article is poorly written. Saying things like "pluralism is an achievement" is biased. "Achievement" has positive conotations. 82.153.120.93 (talk) 12:05, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Orthodox view on Roman Catholic Sacraments[edit]

I'd propose changing or moderating the sentence "Eastern Orthodoxy does not have the concept of "validity" when applied to Sacraments, but it considers the form of Roman Catholic Sacraments to be acceptable, if still devoid of actual spiritual content." - only the most conservative Eastern Orthodox would deem the Roman Catholic Sacraments as "devoid of actual spiritual content." Most Orthodox recognize the Catholic sacraments as truly Sacraments, and the Roman Catholic Church as truly Church, though excluded from ecclesiastical communion. This is similar to the now common Catholic view on the Ortodox Church, and though both camps have conservatives viewing the other Church as "devoid of actual spiritual content," the mainstream members and theologians of both Churches would go for the more liberal view. I haven't changed this myself as I need citations/references and a better source than the Russian Orthodox priests I've talked to about the matter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.215.54.126 (talk) 09:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Pro-Muslim Bias[edit]

There are a couple of phrases which appear to have been written by a Muslim who believes that the Caliphate and Muslim rule heralded an immediate wonderful age for non-Muslims in the conquered areas. I have toned them down a bit, and pointed out that non-Muslim non-"people of the book" had no rights ascribed to them. I have also removed a totally irrelevant sentance talking about the Hajj as an example of Muslim brotherhood, etc. This has zero relevance to religious plurality and to non-Muslims, who could traditionally only go to Mecca on pain of death anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.243.220.22 (talk) 20:04, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Retrospective views -- Huh?[edit]

The seventh and last paragraph under heading #1, "The belief that all religions can teach truths", seems oddly derived to me. The religions listed are each part of a nearly direct succession. Christianity formed after the life of Jesus (who actually taught Judaism, not a new religion), and was based on Judaism. Islam formed during the life of Muhammad, and has deep roots in Judaism as well as influences from Christianity. Baha'i is influenced by Islam, and those before. And ALL of them follow many of the same religious figures and tenets. This is not an example of retrospective pluralism, it is just an obvious consequence of the history and beliefs of these four religions. I think this is a case of applying an effect to the wrong cause.. a hidden variable, an erroneous conclusion. Anyone else think this section would be best removed? It doesn't add any useful information to the article besides this strange observation regarding Judaism and its successors. 74.36.116.152 (talk) 02:22, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the paragraph in question until someone presents a valid argument to support it, and revises the paragraph to reflect that argument. 74.36.116.152 (talk) 01:07, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Relationship with soteriology[edit]

There needs to be information on controversial relationships between religious pluralism and soteriology, as it is found here for example. [1]69.157.229.153 (talk) 20:27, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Magisterium[edit]

There ought to be something added on pluralism vs. the Magisterium. One of the main reasons that Catholics have been historically cold to the idea of pluralism is that the Magisterium functions like a unilateral Teaching body and does not allow for easy discussions, like in some or most branches of Judaism, Islam, Protestantism and Secularism.ADM (talk) 08:57, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Pluralism and dogmas[edit]

A related issue is the controversial relationship between pluralism and Catholic dogmas, such as the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Ascension of Jesus, etc. Catholics can't be Catholic without their religious beliefs or dogmas, and in many cases pluralism implies an implicit rejection of dogmas. ADM (talk) 23:55, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Works cited?[edit]

It was quite a surprise to find the work of Chris Beneke mentioned under "Works cited". After all, on the first pages he explain the differences between religious pluralism and religious toleration, so you can't possibly say the the first is a synonym of the latter. So I had to at least check the edit history. The mentioning of the work was added by User:Historyball (diff), but he apparently didn't actually do any work on the article. Zara1709 (talk) 13:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Where to List Inter-religious Attitudes?[edit]

Ian Barbour, in his book Religion and Science, defines five different attitudes religious communities can hold toward other religions (citing as references Owen Thomas, ed, Attitudes Towards Other Religions, and Hick and Hebblethwaite, eds, Christianity and Other Religions). Here's how the Barbour material matches (it mostly does) what's currently in Wikipedia:

1. Absolutism (equals exclusivism): that my religion is the only true one, all others are false.
2. Approximations of Truth (equals inclusivism: others have truth, but mine's the fullest expression of it.
3. Identity of Essence: Barbour describes this as believing all religions are basically the same though expressed in different cultural forms. I don't think this is the same as syncretism, so I think the idea is under-represented in this article and elsewhere.
4. Cultural Relativism: (equals relativism): religions must be understood in their self-contained, culturally-relative, and incommensurable settings. Belief claims have to be discounted.
5. Pluralistic Dialogue (equals this article): one example Barbour gives is of Hick - that the variety of traditions exhibit multiple forms of revelation as well as differences in human perception. Salvation (transformation to reality-centeredness) occurs in many traditions.

Since this article is about pluralism (only one of the five attitudes), where should the overall comparison be located? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tedlau (talkcontribs) 21:06, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. There is a spectrum of things we mean when we say Religious Pluralism. On the one hand, it can be a strictly descriptive term: that is, it simply refers to the fact that there are numerous religions, without making a value judgment. On the other hand, it can refer to a variety of philosophical positions that deny the existence of a best or final religion, instead affirming the validity of most or all of them. (This includes most notably Barbour's groups 3 and 4. Barbour's fifth point is really more a feature of the third and fourth. I would place Hick in group 3, myself. The classification scheme in Paul Knitter's No Other Name might be more helpful than Barbour's.)
I think that this article actually confuses matters by failing to distinguish pluralism as a sociological fact, and pluralism as a philosophy/theology of religions. The fact that we can have an article with this title without mentioning Hick, Knitter, or Wilfred Cantwell Smith is a symptom of that confusion. CaliforniaKid (talk) 11:41, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

We Should Split This Article[edit]

I propose splitting this into two articles: Religious pluralism (sociology) and Religious pluralism (philosophy). See my comments immediately above. In sociology it is a descriptive term for the existence of multiple religions alongside each other. In philosophy (and theology) it describes the idea that no religion stands out above the others as superior or final, but that all have validity.

The current content of the article obviously doesn't really fit either of these definitions. Most of it, I think, just needs to be deleted. I hate to say that about someone's hard work, but it's the truth. Maybe some of it can be incorporated into Religious Toleration, Interfaith, and Theology of religions. (Theology of religions is currently defined on that page as referring to Christian theology, but presumably other religions have their own theologies of religions. So that might be a good place for much of this article to go.) CaliforniaKid (talk) 00:02, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

This page has evolved to focus on views (i.e., doctrines)[edit]

As it has evolved, almost all sections of this page have focused on views/doctrines/teachings, rather than attempting to systematically chronicle and evaluate historical behaviors. However, one or two editors (an IP, and then Profitoftruth85) have recently inserted material about how Hinduism has been appropriated by various political movements, and used as a support of intolerance. I believe this is an unpromising direction for this page. No doubt, historical examples can be found of how every major faith tradition has been abused by political movements. Most or all faith traditions will also have been seized upon by mobs and used as a source of sloganeering to justify violence. But turning this page into a chronicle of such abuses would profoundly change its focus. I propose/argue:

1. The main focus of the page should be maintained as views/doctrines/teachings by religious leaders / religious texts (subject to WP:DUE)
2. Examples of historical behaviors should be understood as relevant to the page primarily in how they might illustrate what those views can and have meant in practice (again, subject to WP:DUE)
3. Perhaps there is warrant for a "discrepant behaviors" section that cites examples of when avowed adherents to various traditions (often mobs and politicians, but sometimes religious leaders) have acted contrary to the teachings of their own traditions about pluralism. If such a section were constructed, I suggest it should note that such discrepancies are found across most or all traditions, without giving undue attention to the behaviors/failures of any one tradition (WP:DUE). Nor should it seek explicitly or implicitly to compare between different traditions the degree of historical or current hypocrisy, unless, of course, there are reliable scholarly sources that put forward such comparisons (see WP:NOR, WP:RS, etc.).

Without regulative principles such as these, I am concerned that the page could degenerate into a forum for advocacy of various grievances (WP:SOAP). Fora for legitimate grievances are indeed needed (riots by Hinduism-espousing mobs have been horrific, and sadly abetted by politicians), but this page is not the place for a forum for such legitimate grievances (WP:FORUM).

Based on the fact that #1 above seems already to have been the emphasis of the page (and #2 seems mostly through perhaps not fully already followed), I intend to remove the recently re-inserted commentary by the IP and Profitoftruth85; please do not re-insert without discussion, hopefully that addresses the above concerns. Thanks. Health Researcher (talk) 18:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Would someone please remove this statement: "This was a common historical attitude prior to the Enlightenment, and has appeared as governmental policy into the present day under systems like Afghanistan's Taliban regime, which destroyed the ancient Buddhas of Bamyan."

One should not put his historical analysis regarding Christian world age of enlightment and present day Afghanistan. Too much personal analysis that has no direct relation with religious pluralism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 36.69.118.26 (talk) 06:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Inter-religious pluralism[edit]

Christian views[edit]

"there should be an end to proselytizing but that equally there should be no syncretism of the kind typified by the Baha'i movement" is being reduced to "there should be an end to proselytizing but that equally there should be no syncretism" as this is the section for Christian views of Inter-religious pluralism, not the section for Christian views of the Baha'i Faith. Daniel De Mol (talk) 07:48, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Ecumenism vs. Syncretism[edit]

The sentence about ecumenism in the opening para is not really correct. This should be called syncretism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dwlegg (talkcontribs) 14:01, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

New tree proposal[edit]

To make it more readable and neutral, and not becoming a complicated modern philosophical categorization, I propose following tree (this is just tree explaination, will work on the sentences if agreed):

A. There are different idea on how religion interact in a common regional scope. 1. Religious Domination 2. Religious Toleration 3. Religious Pluralism 4. Syncretism

1. Religious Domination: One religion or group of religion demand superior position. Example: Christendom, Chaliphate, etc.

2. Religious Toleration: Believe that the dominant religion or dominant group of religion has to tolerate the existance of other religion (most of the time are the minority, however in some case are not). Religious toleration might still practice mild form of discriminating law or practices against other religion.

3. Religious Pluralism: Believe ("-ism") that all religion can co exist in equal manner, despite of its number of believer or its ownership of power in the region. Religion might still believe in its exclusivity and conceptual superiority toward other religion. Religion might still do proselytism campaign against another, and religious conversion is not prohibited. However religion has to promote secularism, acknowledge rights of other religion to be free of discrimination and to communicate their faith.

4. Syncretism: Believe that all religion is practically the same or can have commonality. Syncretism will always lead to religious pluralism but religious pluralism is not always happen through syncretism.


B. Doctrine/Theology of Pluralism in Each Religion (New thread). This is listing all religion theology regarding pluralism.


C. Religious Pluralism Approach: There are several approach to religious pluralism: 1. Extention of religious toleration. 2. Inter faith dialogue. 3. Syncretism. (even though syncretism is different that religious pluralism and pluralism can be achieved without syncretism, however syncretism will result in religious pluralism). 4. Non religious (secular or atheist) government intervention.

Existing sources. 36.69.118.26 (talk) 07:19, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Definition[edit]

This is a wrong definition of religious pluralism: "As acceptance of the concept that two or more religions with mutually exclusive truth claims are equally valid. This may be considered a form of either toleration (a concept that arose as a result of the European wars of religion) or moral relativism." This has no valid reference. Please remove this definition.

Reference that said it is wrong: http://www.pluralism.org/pages/pluralism/what_is_pluralism said: Second, pluralism is not just tolerance, but the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference. http://www.pluralism.org/pages/pluralism/essays/from_diversity_to_pluralism said: Third, pluralism is not simply relativism, but makes room for real and different religious commitments. Some people are wary of the language of pluralism, insisting that it effectively waters down one’s own religious beliefs by acknowledging that others believe differently.

Cause and adverse impact: This definition demote religious pluralism into inclusivism. While it is true that inclusivism will create religious pluralism, but religious pluralism is NOT always made of inclusivism. Exclusivism faith can develop religious pluralism. Inclusivism as a definition of religious pluralism is an insult from fundamentalist that refuse religious pluralism, and reason to demonize religious pluralism.

36.69.118.26 (talk) 10:00, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Advocacy vs. Definition[edit]

Reading the opening paragraph it seems to be too knowingly advocating for Religious pluralism rather than defining. For example, "Mere diversity without real encounter and relationship will yield increasing tensions in our societies". Will it?

Or, for example "Tolerance is too thin a foundation for a world of religious difference and proximity. It does nothing to remove our ignorance of one another, and leaves in place the stereotype, the half-truth, the fears that underlie old patterns of division and violence. In the world in which we live today, our ignorance of one another will be increasingly costly. ". This is a lot of opinion. If all these statements are correct, they certainly clarify why religious pluralism (as compared with tolerance) is so important, but it's unclear whether these statements are meant to be definitive of the attitudes that inform religious pluralism or are advocacy itself. Who believes these things? Religious pluralists? It's not NPOV and again, it's concerned with advocating rather than defining. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.226.100.228 (talk) 00:39, 26 November 2013 (UTC)