Christians and religious diversity? : a theological evaluation of the meaning of an ethic of embrace in a context of religious diversity

dc.contributor.advisorBrand, G.V.W.en_ZA
dc.contributor.authorHeilbron, Hirschel Lotharen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology.en_ZA
dc.descriptionThesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: Due to the consciousness of religious pluralism and the need for peace amongst the religious communities of the world, the researcher considered, and herewith presents, the arguments for and against each of three traditional theological models for evaluating the relation between Christianity and other religions. Although this theological debate about the truth and salvific value of non- Christian views of life is important, and although the three approaches discussed each brings out important aspects that have to be considered in this debate, they were found to be limited in an important respect, namely, that they do not suggest practical strategic solutions for how Christians should relate to people who hold beliefs that differ from their own. With reference to the notion of an “ethic of embrace,” drawing on a number of New Testament texts as interpreted by theologians like Hans Küng, Miroslav Volf, Harold Nethland, Sam Storms, and Robert H. Stein, to name but a few, a strong case could be made for the necessity of such an ethic as a guideline for how the churches should interact with those who do not share their faith. It could be concluded that each of the three theoretical models, Particularism, Inclusivism and Pluralism, needs to be reconsidered from the perspective of an ethic of embrace. The researcher therefore inquired into the extent to which each of the theoretical models can be reconciled, and can indeed support and undergird, an ethic of embrace. Since, at least at face value, Particularism seems to raise most questions in this regard, it received particular attention. It was concluded that, also when applied in the context of the Particularist model, the ethics of embrace is the missing link that can help influence religiously motivated conflicts in a positive way. This allows for a more peaceable praxis as it not only addresses religious conflict in the world, but can also enable the Particularistic model to foster peace among religions and therefore, indirectly, peace among the nations of the world. The themes of reconciliation, tolerance, forgiveness and hospitality, which are interconnected with an ethic of embrace form an important part of chapter 5, with its focus on the truth and salvific significance of Jesus Christ reflected in his life as portrayed by Biblical witnesses. It is argued that He is not only the truth, or the one who spoke about the truth and his salvific significance, which is of central importance to the Particularistic model, but was able to demonstrate its practical application through the life He lived among humans. He demonstrated practically how the neighbour can be embraced in accordance with a particular understanding of the will of God.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die potensiaal van ’n etiek van omhelsing (“embrace”) aangesien drie tradisionele modelle in die teologie van die godsdienste, naamlik Partikularisme, Inklusivisme en Pluralisme, nie voldoende is om vrede tussen die verskillende gelowe van die wêreld te bevorder nie. Argumente ten gunste van en teen elke model, sowel as hulle sterk en swak punte, word behandel om duidelik aan te toon dat nie een van die drie modelle genoegsame praktiese strategiese metodes oplewer nie. Nadenke oor die waarheidsgehalte en moontlike verlossingskrag van nie-Christelike godsdienste, en oor Christene se wyse van interaksie met mense van ander gelowe, verskaf opsigself nie die nodige vrugbare praktiese riglyne nie. Met betrekking tot die idee van ’n etiek van omhelsing, het verskeie teoloë, waaronder Hans Küng, Miroslav Volf, Harold Nethland, Sam Storms, en Robert H. Stein, om net ’n paar te noem, sterk konstruktiewe argumente ontwikkel wat die idee van ’n etiek van omhelsing ondersteun en bevorder in verband met Christene se verhouding met mense van ander gelowe. Hierdie studie argumenteer ten slotte dat die drie teologiese modelle wat ondersoek is ’n etiek moet heroorweeg van ’n verhouding van omhelsing teenoor mense van ander gelowe, indien hulle tot vrede tussen mense van verskillende gelowe wil bydra. Die navorser ondersoek ook tot watter mate die drie modelle met ’n etiek van omhelsing versoen kan word. Aangesien Partikularisme skynbaar meer vrae in hierdie verband oproep, word dit veral deurdink. Die navorser kom dan tot die gevolgtrekking dat die etiek van omhelsing, in die konteks van Partikularisme, dalk die verlore skakel is wat, ook vir die Partikulariste, geweld onder die verskillende gelowe kan teenwerk. Dit kan moontlik nie slegs vreedsame verhoudings tussen die verskillende gelowe teweegbring nie, maar ook daartoe bydra dat Partikularisme in die teologiese debat tot geloofsvrede kan bydrae. Versoening, vergifnis, gasvryheid en toleransie is temas wat in verband met ’n etiek van omhelsing ter sprake kom, en vorm belangrike aspekte van hoofstuk 5, aangesien dit nie net in abstrakte sin die waarheidsgehalte en verlossingskrag van Christus sterk beklemtoon nie, maar ook die wyse waarop dit in sy lewe, soos die Bybelse getuies dit narratief skets, in ’n praktyk van omhelsing van die medemens gestalte gevind het.en_ZA
dc.format.extentxiii, 233 p.en_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertations -- Systematic Theologyen_ZA
dc.subjectTheses -- Systematic Theologyen_ZA
dc.subjectReligious pluralismen_ZA
dc.subjectCommunism and Christianityen_ZA
dc.subject.otherSystematic Theology and Ecclesiologyen_ZA
dc.titleChristians and religious diversity? : a theological evaluation of the meaning of an ethic of embrace in a context of religious diversityen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA

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