In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

524 BOOK REVIEWS Word is to interpret us" (189). That two-way response to the Word of God neatly summarizes William Hill's witness to us as theologian as well: to he the mediator between classical and contemporary idiomata in such a way as to enrich the deliverances of both, reminiscent of Matthew's commendation of the " disciple in the kingdom of Heaven [being] like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old" (13 :52). The excitement of this project will not he lost on students of theology confronted with novel theories periodically renewed. What makes William Hill a theologians' theologian is not only his conceptual clarity, hut his capacity to move among us as a fellow inquirer. Bereft of any need to kill off contenders to make room for his innovations, we rather find him recalling on every page how much he has learned from others and wishes to pass on to us. University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana DAVID B. BURRELL, c.s.c. The Diversity of Religions: A Christian Perspective. By J. A. D1NoIA, O.P. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1992. $29.95 (cloth), $17.95 (paper). For some time now the debate in the Christian theology of religions has centered around the question of ·the possibility of salvation for nonChristians . The answers to this question have often been placed in a threefold typology: exclusivism, inclusivism or pluralism. Exclusivists generally maintain that salvation is conditional on an explicit confession of faith in Jesus Christ, hence non-Christians are lost. Pluralists, on the other hand, maintain that salvation can he found in different religions in various ways, and that Christianity is one among many paths to the divine reality. Inclusivists agree that non-Christians may he saved, and if they are it may he through rather than despite their religion. Inclusivists differ from pluralists in believing that Christ is the constitutive cause of all salvation, even therefore the salvation of a non-Christian. DiNoia's hook claims to do two very significant things. First, to go beyond the three approaches and suggest a fresh way of dealing with the question. Second, in doing so, to create a new agenda for the Christian theology of religions. My verdict: he partly fails and partly succeeds, and both his failings and success are deeply instructive and profoundly illuminating. DiNoia's argument is advanced carefully and lucidly and is acces- BOOK REVIEWS 525 sihle to non-specialists. The bibliographic essay/notes related to each chapter indicate thorough research (with one exception) and are a pleasure to read. DiNoia (a Thomist with Barthian leanings) closely follows George Lindbeck's cultural-linguistic model of religion, arguing that the specific way of life, determined by the actual doctrines held, uniquely shapes and moulds the religious practitioner. The goal and means of the religious way are intrinsically related and cannot he separated. He then persuasively argues that the difficulty with pluralists and inclusivists is that they impose a soteriocentricism upon other religions where there may he none! In contrast, DiNoia maintains one cannot say anything about the meaning of another religion apart from specific and proper attention to the ways in which its doctrines regulate its practice and stipulate the goal to he achieved by that way of life. In Christianity, eternal fellowship with the blessed Trinity can be said to he the goal (salvation) which is carefully orchestrated in minute detail through the liturgical life of the community. To claim that other religions attain the same salvific goal is therefore problematic . DiNoia's argument creates a space for other religions to really disclose what they are about in their doctrines and practice, without a priori categorization, and this is to he welcomed. Hence, the necessity of dialogue as the proper location for disclosure of the "other". Dialogue thereby becomes central to a theology of religions. Only in this process can we ask the question as to whether and how these ways of life relate to Christianity. DiNoia allows for the possibility that doctrinal truth and good actions can he found in other religions, without compromising the cen· trality of the incarnation as constitutive...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 524-528
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.