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Document Details :

Title: Dialoog en bevrijding / Dialogue and Liberation
Subtitle: Aloysius Pieris en een Aziatische theologie van de godsdiensten / Aloysius Pieris and an Asian Theology of Liberation
Author(s): GLORIEUX, Frederik
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 65    Issue: 4   Date: 2004   
Pages: 417-441
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.65.4.542082

Abstract :
Our contemporary society can correctly be described as multicultural and interreligious. Present-day theologians recognize that fact and this is reflected in their theologies of religions. These theologies tend to be subsumed under one of the following headings, namely, exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism. In this article I examine the position of the Asian Catholic theologian Aloysius Pieris within this field. Whereas the proponents of a pluralistic theology gladly characterize him as a pragmatic pluralist, I am of the opinion that the specific theology he has developed as an answer to the challenges of the Asian continent, can more rightly be seen as inclusivistic. First I will examine which specific paradigm Pieris proposes for a theology that seeks to thrive on Asian soil (I). Next I reflect on the depiction of Pieris as a pragmatic pluralist by giving a rough sketch of his outlook on religion and on interreligious dialogue (II). Then I demonstrate by means of a reflection on his perspective on incarnation that Pieris is in fact more inclusivistic than pluralistic in his theology since he insists on the uniqueness and universality of Christ and Christianity (III). I therefore conclude by suggesting that Pieris can more rightly be called an inclusivist than a pluralist. I contend, however, that the case of Pieris makes clear that the traditional scheme for the theology of religions is obsolete and in need of replacement.