Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

John T. Baldwin

Second Advisor

Fernando L. Canale

Third Advisor

Miroslav M. Kis

Abstract

Introduction to the Problem: The philosophy of John Hick, who is famous for his religious pluralism, has received vigorous study in terms of its epistemology, authority, the concept of God, and Christology. However, less attention has been given to his pareschatology. As explained below, initial investigation shows that there is a need for in-depth study of Hick’s religious philosophy in this area.

The Problem: Based upon preliminary research, Hick’s religious pluralismseems to reveal a critical problem with external correspondency, as follows. His pareschatology, which is an attempt to accept all eschatologies of major world religions as valid, may as a consequence tend to invalidate them all in the end. Moreover, other factors may indicate the presence of inconsistencies in Hick’s pareschatological model, which may reflect upon the adequacy of his overall model of religious pluralism. The

Purpose: The purpose of this dissertation is to address and critically evaluate the external correspondency and internal consistency of Hick’s eschatological model, which may provide the basis for a critical evaluation of his religious pluralism as a whole. The evaluation of John Hick’s religious pluralism in light of his pareschatology will be accomplished through the lenses of the correspondence and coherence theories of truth.

Conclusions: Hick’s pareschatology, as discussed in detail in chapters 4 and 5, and summarized in chapter 6, is open to various criticisms when judged by correspondence and coherence theories oftruth. From my research of Hick’s pareschatology, I uncover and present reasons which back twenty criticisms of Hick’s concept of pareschatology. Based upon these twenty criticisms, the first general conclusion of my dissertation is that Hick’s notion of pareschatology does not show sufficient internal coherence, and it is also not fully coherent with his pluralistic model of world religions. The second general conclusion is that there is lack of external correspondence with the noumenal Real and with the phenomenal pareschatological manifestations of religious experiences inparticular religions. As a result, questions may be raised whether his pareschatological model can be regarded as aconvincing theological philosophical scientific construct. These considerations also have important implications for Hick’s religious pluralism, which lead to the final conclusion of my dissertation. I find Hick’s religious pluralism as awhole to be weakened by the problematic condition of his pareschatology.

Subject Area

Religious pluralism, Hick, John -- Views on religious pluralism

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