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European Protestant and Catholic approaches to the world religions: complements and contrasts

Knitter, Paul

Christians of various traditions must engage in a dialogue concerning their attitudes toward other religions in order to develop a more "positive Christian approach to other religions." Basically, contemporary Protestant theologians and post-Vatican II Catholic theologians agree concerning divine revelation's occurrence in non-Christian faiths. Several examples are given of the contributions of Protestant and Catholic theologians to the understanding of divine revelation through human religions. The content of what is perceived to be revealed through other religions is summarized: a knowledge of a personalized deity, an insight into the human condition and the human need for redemption, and a sense of the absolute transcendence of the deity. On the issue of salvation within other religions, however, the Protestant theologians under investigation are not so positive. One must have contact with the historical Christ event and understand its significance both psychologically and cognitively. However, Catholic theologians affirm the possibility of salvation outside of Christ. Key issues are: "the universal salvific will of God" and "the relation between revelation and salvation."

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Journal of Ecumenical Studies

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Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
April 6, 2012
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