This essay presents how “theologian” and “pluralist” are contested categories in religious-studies scholarship to such a degree that the pluralist theologies of people of color have been thwarted from many ecumenical discourses. While Martin Luther King, Jr.’s credentials as a theologian have been questioned, he should, nevertheless, be interpreted not only as a theologian but also as a pluralist theologian par excellence. To this end, King’s primary sources are used to reconstruct dimensions of his pluralist theology. His pluralist views and values are placed in critical conversation with contemporary pluralism scholarship. It is shown that King’s universal horizon transcended Jewish, Christian, and Muslim relationships. He did not believe in the metaphysical unity of religions. He identified both similar and dissimilar teachings across religions. He preached that Christian and non-Christian traditions provided resources for sharing and learning—especially for ethical values. Overall, King’s ecumenism contributes to debates about ethnocentric biases and admiration for different faiths.


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pp. 402-422
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