About the Book
How does Christianity relate to other religions? Beginning with a consideration of the biblical perspective, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen offers a detailed and comprehensive survey of the diverse explanations proposed by teachers of the church down through the ages. This indispensable guide is for anyone seeking to grasp Christianity's relationship to world religions.
Early in the nineteenth century Ernst Troeltsch, the great German liberal thinker, published the influential essay The Place of Christianity Among the World Religions. The question of the relation of Christianity to other religions is every bit as relevant as and perhaps even more urgent today than it was then. Beginning with a consideration of the biblical perspective, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen surveys the variety of diverse answers proposed by teachers of the church down through the ages. His reviews include the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, as well as those of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and a broad selection of later Protestant and Catholic thinkers. He completes the historical section with an astute look at the radical challenges of Enlightenment and classical liberalism and the emergence of the fulfillment theory of religions. The bulk of Kärkkäinen's work provides a detailed and comprehensive survey of major confessional movements and theologians' opinions on the contemporary scene. Kärkkäinen provides succinct and trenchant descriptions of a wide diversity of theologians, including Karl Barth, Hendrik Kraemer, Paul Althaus, Karl Rahner, Hans Küng, Jacques Dupuis, Gavin D'Costa, Paul Tillich, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lesslie Newbigin and M. M. Thomas, as well as Sir Norman Anderson, Clark Pinnock, Amos Yong, John Hick, Stanley Samartha, Raimundo Panikkar, Paul Knitter, Millard Erickson, Harold Netland and Vinoth Ramachandra. An Introduction to the Theology of Religions is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to grasp and work their way through the full range of alternatives offered in answer to the question, What is the relation of Christianity to other religions?
Anyone, whether pastor or teacher, student or scholar, interested in gaining a good working knowledge of one of the most challenging but stimulating fields of study among the theological disciplines will assuredly benefit froma reading of this book. It may be particularly well-adaptable as a college or seminary textbook.--Tony Richie, Pneuma Review, Spring 2007