(A15) Pluralism Capacities of Religions / Inter-Faith Theology
During the first cluster phase, several articles and book chapters were published on the pluralism capacity of Christianity, summarising in condensed form the results of earlier studies or continuing these with regard to certain subproblems such as the questions of theological hermeneutics, the understanding of dialogue, and relativism.
Another focus was the work on the pluralism capacity of Buddhism. Following the fundamental treatment of the topic by the miscellany Buddhist Attitudes to Other Religions (2008), edited by the project head, and by some substudies, this topic was fully dealt with and published in an as yet unique form in the four-volume anthology totalling 1,512 pages, Buddhism and Religious Diversity. The volumes document and provide detailed introductions to the relationships between Buddhism and the other Asian religions (vol. 1), Buddhism and Christianity (vol. 2), Buddhism, Islam and Judaism (vol. 3), and the internal Buddhist plurality discourse. The work was published in 2012 by Routledge under the series “Critical Concepts in Religious Studies”.
A comprehensive description of the pluralism discourse in the Chinese religions is so far not or only to some extent manifest in literature. An international expert symposium was held on this in Münster in October 2011 (in cooperation with the University of Edinburgh, Prof. Dr. J. Gentz). The contributions to this symposium are currently being edited and will be published under the title of Religious Diversity in Chinese Thought with Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.
A range of other publications discusses the political dimensions of religious pluralism both in a fundamental respect and with regard to subproblems such as overcoming the roots of religious violence, the question of human rights, and the understanding of religious and political authority.
A summarising monograph on religious-pluralistic tendencies in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism is currently in progress and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
In addition to several programmatic articles, a monograph was published on the possibilities and problems of an interfaith theology, Transformation by Integration. How Inter-Faith Encounter Changes Christianity (London: SCM 2009). Research in the second cluster phase will concentrate on this topic.