Interiorism in Theology of Religions

Interiorism in theology of religions, a term coined to describe an alternative to exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism, is a way of establishing the theological relationship of the Christian message with non-Christian religions, which goes beyond these usual models. The author of this article grasps the canonical relationship between the two biblical Testaments as a theological paradigm to define the relationship of Christian religion with the other religions. Interiorism can avoid an attitude of superiority of Christian religion towards the other religions (e.g. exclusivism, inclusivism), as well as a relativization of the Christian truth-claims (pluralism). Christian interiorism thus recognizes other religions to be not only depositaries of a partial or relative truth, but also of an insuperable truth. His methodological starting point is a radical problematization of the concept of divine revelation due to the philosophical understanding according to which the ontological relation between the creation and God is merely unilateral (St. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Knauer). Christian religion provides an answer for this fundamental problem through its Trinitarian concept of God. Only through the latter a real relationship between God and the world can be thought about without running into a contradiction. In this way the concept of “Word of God” reveals its understandable sense turning the message of Israel’s Holy Scriptures universally understandable as Old Testament. This hermeneutical relation between the biblical Testaments can be – mutatis mutandis – extended to other religions. The present work highlights this and other assumptions of theological interiorism. It eventually enters into the debate about critical objections concerning the Jewish-Christian relationship, which accuse interiorism of not respecting the uniqueness of this relationship. This article indeed aims to emphasize that the uniqueness of the Jewish-Christian relationship consists precisely in indicating the right way to relate ourselves to the other religions. (Gäde Gerhard. Interiorism in Theology of Religions and the Jewish-Christian Relationship



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