Abstract

Here Gandhi’s position on religious pluralism is re-evaluated in light of recent work on the subject. Section I expands on David R. Griffin’s critique of John Hick’s theory of religious pluralism. Griffin contends that Hick’s view contains an inherent bias for some Hindu and Buddhist schools and that it does not offer a sufficient grounding for ethics. Section II examines Sharada Sugirtharajah’s thesis that Gandhi’s views are substantially similar to Hick’s. Although there may be some instructive similarities, some significant differences can be pointed out. The most important is Gandhi’s pantheism and immanentism, which contrasts with Hick’s insistence on a transcendent Real that has no qualities. Section III summarizes Griffin’s “deep” or “complementary” religious pluralism, and although Gandhi may be open to most aspects of this view—particularly John B. Cobb’s concept of mutual transformation—Gandhi leaves the ontology-based theories of Griffin and Hick with his doctrine that Truth is God, discussed section IV. Sugirtharajah raises some issues surrounding postmodernism, so in section V it is argued that Gandhi’s views actually go beyond religious pluralism to a “constructive postmodern” multiculturalism that embraces both the sacred and the secular.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 319-339
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-14
Open Access
No
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