Religious Pluralism and Truth

Essays on Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion

Edited by Thomas Dean

Subjects: Philosophy Of Religion
Series: SUNY series in Religious Studies
Paperback : 9780791421246, 271 pages, December 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421239, 271 pages, January 1995

Table of contents


Introduction: Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion
Thomas Dean

Part I. Religious Pluralism and Cross-Cultural Truth

1. The Philosophy of Worldviews, or the Philosophy of Religion Transformed
Ninian Smart

2. Philosophical Pluralism and the Plurality of Religions
Raimundo Panikkar

3. Religious Pluralism and the Future of Religions
Harold Coward

Part II. Criteria of Cross-Cultural Truth in Religion

4. Truth, Criteria and Dialogue Between Religions
Ninian Smart

5. Doctrinal Schemes, Metaphysics and Propositional Truth
William J. Wainwright

6. Religious Pluralism and Cross-Cultural Criteria of Religious Truth
Mary Ann Stenger

Part III. Models of Cross-Cultural Truth in  Religion

7. The Logic of Oppositions of Religious Doctrines
William A. Christian, Sr.

8. The Doctrines of a Religious Community about Other Religions
Joseph A. DiNoia

9. The Logic of Interreligious Dialogue
Norbert M. Samuelson

10. Gadamer's Hermeneutics as a Model for Cross-Cultural Understanding and Truth in Religion
Mary Ann Stenger

Part IV. Hermeneutics of Cross-Cultural Truth in Religion

11. Rethinking the Doctrine of Double-Truth: Ambiguity, Relativity and Universality
Conrad Hyers

12. Mystical Experience as a Bridge for Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion: A Critique
John Y. Fenton

13. Structures of Ultimate Transformation and the Hermeneutics o fCross-cultural Philosophy of Religion
Frderick J. Streng

14. The Hermeneutics of Comparative Ontology and Comparative Theology
Ashok K. Gangadean





This book is an introduction to cross-cultural philosophy of religion. It presents an alternative to Western-oriented philosophy of religion by focusing on questions of truth in the context of religious pluralism, including the criteria, models, and hermeneutics of cross-cultural truth in religion. The essays included are by some of the leading philosophers of religion and scholars in comparative religious thought such as Ninian Smart, Raimundo Panikkar, Harold Coward, William Wainwright, William Christian Sr. , and Frederick Streng.

Thomas Dean is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University. He is co-founder of the newly-established International Association of Asian Philosophy and Religion.


"This anthology helpfully and provocatively questions many current assumptions in various schools of scholarship about the value-free nature, or ethical, cultural, and rational relativism, inherent to the comparative study of religions. This I think in itself makes the book important and helpful. Moreover, many of the essays suggest and evaluate possible normative-constructive criteria appropriate to the cross-cultural philosophy of religion, and some essays also helpfully raise and clarify some of the methodological weaknesses of past comparative studies. " — Michael Stoeber, The Catholic University of America