theology essay #1

theology essay #1 - Matt Harris Intro to Theology Crutcher...

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Matt Harris 1 Intro to Theology Crutcher 3/14/08 Differing Beliefs on Religious Plurality: Karl Rahner and Gavin D’Costa Heaven, Nirvana, Paradise, Zion, What do you call it? Regardless of race, creed, or walk of life, if you believe in a religion, you have also put your faith into a final resting place of eternal bliss. With the acceptance of heaven though, you must also accept the rejection of Hell as an option. Hell, Sheol, Gehenna, Hades, no matter what you wish to call this, the names mean the same thing: damnation and punishment. Whether you claim Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or what have you, Heaven is readily attainable. It is no new concept, but it has been argued that any valid monotheistic religion will gain you acceptance into heaven based merely on belief in the God of your religion. This belief is called religious plurality. Comments and controversy alike surround this belief. Although many theologians and philosophers throughout the centuries have written their beliefs on the subject, I will be choosing two more recent theologians: Karl Rahner and Gavin D’Costa. Religious plurality carries somewhat broad definitions ranging anywhere from inter-religious dialogue to the relativity of truth among religions. My usage of religious plurality in this paper will include: all religions are legitimate and valid, all religions teach multiple truths, which are valid, religious truth is relative, and religions all agree on one central truth. Religious plurality can be defined as "The belief that multiple religions or secular world views are legitimate and valid. Each is true when viewed from within its own culture." Susan Laemmle, a Rabbi and the Dean of Religious Live at USC described religious pluralism in the following way: “…all spiritual paths are finally leading to the same sacred ground.” Seena Fazel, a member of the Baha’i Faith explains religious plurality as “the theory that the great world religions constitute varying conceptions of, and responses to, the one ultimate, mysterious divine reality.” I define religious plurality as the equality, validity, and plurality of all religions in their own respects, beliefs, and customs. (Robinson, B.A.) Karl Rahner, 1904-1984, was one of the most systematic and developed theologians of his time. His theological prowess made him one of the most influential, if not the most influential, Roman Catholic theologians in the history of Catholicism. His ideas and beliefs had a primary hand in the Second Vatican Council. His theological
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Matt Harris 2 Intro to Theology Crutcher 3/14/08 responses shaped what is now know as modern Catholicism. Theological Investigations is a very significant, yet controversial, writing that Rahner taught in the late 1940’s. This collection of essays is not Rahner’s theological beliefs; rather it is merely an anthology of the questions and thoughts that arose in his search for truth. In this compilation, Rahner constructs a theological argument claiming the validity of all religions under one of his
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theology essay #1 - Matt Harris Intro to Theology Crutcher...

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