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Document Details :

Title: 'Oude Wijn in nieuwe zakken'.
Subtitle: Karl Jaspers' openbaringskritiek en de pluralistische theologie van de godsdiensten.
Author(s): GELDHOF, Joris
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 65    Issue: 2   Date: 2004   
Pages: 144-169
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.65.2.504385

Abstract :
In this article I defend the thesis of a strong similarity between the modern critique of Christian revelation and the main arguments of contemporary pluralist theologians. As a relevant spokesperson of modern thought I take Karl Jaspers. After having presented his most important writings on religion and belief, I discuss three general features of modern thought, namely, subjectivism, ethical humanism and universalism. I argue that these characteristics not only figure in Jaspers’ critique of Christianity, but that they are also fundamental to the pluralist theology of religions. Then I focus on characteristics of modern thought regarding religion in particular. First I analyse the specific kind of ‘natural theology’ in Jaspers’ philosophy and in pluralism, and I continue with the question of christology. In both cases I discern a parallel intuition. With a view to Jaspers’ most crucial objection to the Christian revelation, I maintain that he ultimately rejects both the reality and the possibility of God revealing Godself in the history of humankind. And I immediately ask whether the philosophical presuppositions of pluralism do not tend towards the same radical rejection. In my conclusion, I raise questions about the approach represented by Jaspers and so-called pluralist theologians. In addition to being irreducibly ambiguous, it does not seem to constitute the guarantee of tolerance that both Jaspers and pluralists declare it to be.