Religious Inventions: Four Essays by Max Charlesworth

By Max Charlesworth

Many students suppose that every one actual religions are primarily comparable and that it really is attainable to outline the sector of faith when it comes to the "sacred." In his most up-to-date publication, Max Charlesworth argues that we needs to take the range of religions as a major truth. Any faith is an energetic reaction to a revelation of the divine, and people obtain those revelations, interpret them and strengthen them in various methods. Charlesworth illustrates his thesis with examples starting from Australian Aboriginal faith, to twentieth-century Roman Catholicism.

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But at the same time the Christian believer will acknowledge that other religious systems can also contain authentic revelation. As John Hick puts it: Christians can say that God is truly to be encountered in Jesus but not only in Jesus. 25 In other words, the Christian believer will also recognise that there are quasi-autonomous revelations in other religious systems, and that, so to speak, God's revelation will only be known in its fullness when all the 'revelations' to be found in the various other religions are brought together in some way and the jigsaw is completed, although we must not think that we will end up with some kind of eclectic amalgam or synthesis of religious beliefs and practices, or even that it is desirable or practicable to try to achieve such a synthesis.

The diversity of revelations 43 This tradition has a well-defined philosophical methodology which emphasises the importance of analytic rationality and rejects any kind of epistemological relativism or pluralism. ) However, the fourth position makes use of the important notion of the 'development' of what I have called the original revelation of a religion. We saw in the discussion of ecumenism between the Christian churches that certain values may be developed in one form of Christianity and not in others.

Zaehner, 77K Bhagavad Gita, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968. Bernard Lewis, 'fslarn and the West, Oxford University Press, 1993, p- 75- 40 Essay i Judaism nor Christianity is a false religion. 22 Indeed, a contemporary Muslim scholar has said that there are those . within the Islamic world who realise that the destinies of Islam and Christianity are intertwined, that God has willed both religions to exist and to be ways of salvation for millions of human beings ... 23 However, the main Muslim position seems to be that Islam is the central religious revelation, even though certain other forms of monotheism may have some degree of religious value of their own.

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