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