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One and many: rethinking John Hick's pluralism

Lee, Yen-Yi (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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As its criticisms have revealed, a closer look at the concept of the Real, the thesis of “all experiencing is experiencing-as,” and the criterion of the soteriological transformation have shown some difficulities in John Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis.

Focusing on the theory of religious experience contended by Hick, this research explores the Kantian and Wittgensteinian elements of his hypothesis to ease the tension between its metaphysical and epistemological aspects. Since Hick’s hypothesis is based on the doctrines of religions within the Indo-European language group, this research introduces those traditions from outside this group to rethink its criteriology. These two attempts inevitably call for a refined model of Hick’s hypothesis. Both Hick’s hypothesis and the refined model reflect certain understandings of the notion of Religion. Meanwhile, every religious tradition also manifests its various dimensions. This research consequently suggests that the ideal of Religion can be considered in terms of the idea of functional unity and can be taken as the regulative principle to direct any model of religious pluralism, which is subject to be modified when it encounters any “anomalies” of religious phenomena -- this pattern can be further illustrated in light of the Confucian proposition of “the Li is one but its manifestations are many (理一分殊li-yi-fen-shu).”

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Cheetham, David and Tang, Edmond
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Keywords:John Hick, religious pluralism, Confucianism, the Li is one but its manifestations are many (理一分殊li-yi-fen-shu)
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
BL Religion
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3278
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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