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Religious Pluralism: Towards a Comparative Metaphysics of Religion

Ultimate reality is often characterized in terms of what are thought to be a variety of incompatible concepts, like God, Dao, Brahman, śūnyatā, etc. Matthew S. LoPresti suggests that if we shift to a process metaphysics, our horizon of pluralistic understanding shifts as well, allowing multiple religious ultimates, effective religious practices, and their respective salvific projects to simultaneously exist without contradiction. Religious Pluralism: Towards a Comparative Metaphysics of Religion examines the plausibility of a genuine religious pluralism, arguing in favor of the authenticity of a plurality of the world’s major religious traditions.

Responses to the philosophical challenges of religious diversity have often been misidentified as forms of relativism or pluralisms, so this book provides a more robust taxonomy to encourage the field to be more uniform and precise. LoPresti argues that John B. Cobb, Jr.’s Whiteheadian-based approach, known as “Deep Religious Pluralism,” functions as a non-relativistic basis for a meta-theology of world religions. Through discussions of classical and contemporary South Asian philosophy, Western analytic philosophy, and process philosophy, in addition to the writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), LoPresti argues that a proper engagement with religious pluralism requires intimate knowledge of Western and non-Western traditions.

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