Unbounded commitment: a Kierkegaardian response to religious diversity

Fox, Luke Christopher (2018). Unbounded commitment: a Kierkegaardian response to religious diversity. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (1MB)


This thesis addresses the existential challenges and opportunities posed by religious diversity. It argues that philosophical engagements with diversity misrepresent and obstruct full engagement with it. The thesis reconceptualises diversity from a Kierkegaardian perspective, sensitive to the existential dimensions of religion and focused on religious commitment.
Drawing on features of Kierkegaard’s description of religious faith, particularly uncertainty, risk, paradox and transcendence, it proposes that an authentic, Christian response to religious diversity is one of unbounded commitment. It is unbounded in that it is an absolute, boundless commitment and deep fidelity to God’s revelation, but entails a venturing, boundary-crossing, radical openness to finding this in sites of offence. This is grounded in the idea of horizontal transcendence: that subjectivity and selfhood are called into being by the presence of inassimilable others that invite one
beyond one’s boundaries in deep relationships and substitutionary love. Deep engagement with religious others goes to the heart of faith in Christ as well as expressing fundamental truths about the human situation itself. A concluding sketch is provided of how deep interreligious encounter can be achieved through indirect communication focused on the character of the participants.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: St Luke's College Foundation, Leeds Trinity University
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8456


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year