Original Research

Christian and Buddhist approach to religious exclusivity. Do interfaith scholars have it right?

Daniel J. McCoy, Winfried Corduan, Henk Stoker
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 3 | a3266 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3266 | © 2016 Daniel J. McCoy, Winfried Corduan, Henk Stoker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2015 | Published: 08 July 2016

About the author(s)

Daniel J. McCoy, Department of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Winfried Corduan, Department of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa; Department of Philosophy and Religion, Taylor University, Upland, IN
Henk Stoker, Department of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars1 are quick to denounce what they perceive as religious exclusivity. So when it comes to the major views on just how true and salvific the religions can be, it is no surprise that Exclusivism is ruled out automatically. What is surprising is how inevitable it is that when Buddhist-Christian interfaith scholars commit to any view – whether Inclusivism, Pluralism, or Relativism – they themselves end up committing the sin of exclusivity. Whatever view they entertain turns out to be too exclusivistic for somebody, by having too particular a saviour (Exclusivism), too particular a salvation (Inclusivism), too particular a metaphysics (Pluralism), or too sceptical a religious outlook (Relativism).2 To make matters worse, the further the interfaith scholar cycles away from Exclusivism in an attempt to elude exclusivity, the further she wanders not only from Christianity, but from Buddhism as well. Thus, by attempting to unite the two religions, the interfaith scholar finds herself at odds with both sides. Truly, it seems the interfaith scholar has no place to lay her head. By consulting interfaith scholars’ own writings, this paper describes their dilemma in finding such a place.

 


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