Religious pluralism: a Habermasian questioning and a Levinasian addressing

Lars Rhodin, Xin Mao

Abstract


The task of this paper is to clarify the notion of pluralism and religious pluralism against the background of disputations on the globalized challenges of religious pluralism, for example the incompatibility between different conceptions of religious pluralism, especially from the lens of a possible conversation on religious pluralism between Jürgen Habermas and Emmanuel Levinas. With a detailed reading into the development of the conceptualization of religious pluralism in each author, addressing the questions such as what is genuine pluralism and on what ground the conflicts within religious pluralism can be re-accounted, we make our passage from challenging the total reliance on political unification by the effort of Habermas, towards adopting a Levinasian alternative path that prioritizes ethical relation over individual ways of plurality in the realization of each one’s good life. Even though it can be acknowledged that Habermas raised the right question against the relativism way of seeing pluralism, it is by Levinas, the ontological ground of pluralism and the universal dimension of the plural are thought not only through justice and politics but more importantly, through a way of responding to the non-familiar tradition with love, where human religion has a single dimension that is the transcendental notion of charity and love.


Keywords


Religious pluralism, Jürgen Habermas, Emmanuel Levinas, the proviso translation, face-to-face encounter, peace, love

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