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can attain the one “true” and “real” religious goal without being a conscious member of the “true” religious tradition. Different ways for explaining how this "works" are developed for each religious tradition that employs an inclusivism model.Pluralism: All religions are different expressions of human experience with “ultimate reality,” and most, ifnot all, are valid “paths” to attain the one true religious goal, which no one specific world religion fully expresses or teaches.Comparative Theology
World Religions NotesSome critics of the three previously mentioned models have argued that religions are very different and that aspects of their teachings, religious goals, and ethics are incompatible, if not contradictory. For instance, many Western religions believe in a God-like figure while many Eastern traditions do not believe in God. Many believe that only one can be true, and the other is false. Therefore, a newly emergent approach to religious pluralism involves members of one religious tradition studying a particular aspect of another religious tradition, an aspect of its “creed,” “code,” “cult,” or “community,” inorder to gain new insights into one’s own religious traditions, beliefs, and practices.1. Exclusivist: “My religion is not only true, but it is the only truth.” This view of religious truth is natural to many believers, whether or not their religion officially takes such a position. If I believe something about God, how can I imagine any other belief as valid? 2. Inclusivist: “My religion is true for me; your religion is true for you.” This position is common in a tolerant society, such as, in general, America. It is sometimes called, “relativism,” meaning that truth is relative to the person who hold it; if you think up and I think down, for you it's up and for me it's down. Religious beliefs can be true only for those who hold them 3. Pluralist: “Every religion has something true to tell us.” God works in ways we do not always understand. We had best try to make sense of each of those ways. One way of doing so is to realize that different religions ask different questions, so you really cannot compare the statements of one religion with those of another."4. Empathetic Interest in Other People: This way taken in the pages of this book concerns not whether religions are true (which in the end is for God to decide) but how all religions are interesting and important. We maintain here that every religion has something to teach us about what it means to be a human being. Here we take a different path from the one that leads us to questions about religious truth. It is a path that carries us to a position of empathy for our fellow Americans, in all their rich diversity.