Philosophical and Theological Approaches to the Problems of Religious Plurality: A Sino-Theological Perspective

Lai Pan-chiu
June 2009
Sino-Christian Studies;Jun2009, Vol. 7, p165
Academic Journal
Philosophy of Religion and Christian Theology of Religions are two different but related approaches to the issues concerning religious plurality. In the Chinese-speaking world, due to some historical factors, the theological approach has been relatively less developed. Clarifying the differences and relationship between these two approaches and affirming the integrity and distinctiveness of the theological approach are vital for the long-term development of Sino-Christian Studies, especially Sino-theology. Based on an outline of the characteristics of the philosophical and theological approaches to the issues of religious plurality and a more focused presentation of the "Problematik" and paradigms of a Christian theology of religions, this paper attempts to argue that Christian theology of religions has its own integrity, "grammar" as well as autonomy and thus cannot be reduced to or replaced by the philosophical approach, which, however, may help theological discussion to a certain extent. This paper further argues that Cheung Hung Shing Leonard's "A Critique of a Discourse on Trinity and Religious Dialogue," which mainly takes a philosophical rather than theological approach, betrays the inadequacy of his understanding of the basic issues, nature and task of a Christian theology of religions.


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