Pluralism: Challenge to World Religions is a comprehensive treatment of how each major world religion has understood its particular claim to absolute truth In the face of the truth claims of other religions. Out of this study a new set of guidelines for inter-religious dialogue is formulated. There are chapters on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
HAROLD COWARD is professor and head of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary. He was born at Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and attended the University of Alberta and McMaster University. In 1963 he was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada and served for five years in the pastorate. He has been a research scholar at the Centre for Advanced Study in Theoretical Psychology, University of Alberta, and at the Centre for Advanced Study in Indian Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University, India.
Religious experience has been defined as the quest for ultimate reality. In pursuing this quest, religions often seem to have an inherent drive to claims of uniqueness and universality. Many religions exhibit an inner tendency to claim to be the true religion, to offer the true revelation as the true way of salvation or release. It appears to be self-contradictory for such a religion to accept any expression of ultimate reality other than its own. Yet one of the things that characterizes today's world is religious pluralism. The world has always had religious plurality. But in the 1980s the breaking of cultural, racial, linguistic, and geographical boundaries is on a scale that the world has not previously seen. For the first time in recorded history we seem to be rapidly becoming a true world community. Today the West is no longer closed within itself. It can no longer regard itself as being the historical and cultural center of the world and as having a religion that is the sole valid way of worship. The same is true for the East. Today everyone is the next-door neighbour and spiritual neighbour of everyone else.
In Canada almost all our cities set aside a special day for a cultural fair. Music, dance, handicrafts, and food from many different cultures are offered by the members of the ethnic communities, now Canadian citizens. In addition to these domestic experiences, we are travelling more and having the existential experience of other cultures. The same thing is happening with exposure to other religions. I don't have to go to India to encounter Hindu-ism. In Calgary there are a large Hindu community, two Jodo Shinsu Buddhist congregations, Zen and Tibetan Buddhist groups, three Islamic mosques, and five Jewish synagogues-to say nothing of the many so-called new religions, such as transcendental meditation and Hare Krishna. Today every religion, like every culture, is an existential possibility offered to every person. Alien religions have become part of everyday life, and we experience them as a challenge to the claims of truth of our own faith.
The aim of this book is to examine the way a number of religions have reacted and are reacting to the challenge of pluralism. My hope is that such a study will help persons from various traditions better understand each other's religion and learn the true dimensions of spiritual life in a pluralistic world.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS122 Author: Harold Coward Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 1996 Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications ISBN: 8170305098 Language: English Size: 9.00 X 6.00 inch Pages: 144 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.3 Kg