Paul Knitter Introducing Theologies Of Religion Analysis

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In his book, Introducing Theologies Of Religion, Paul Knitter discusses four different models of how Christians may respond to religions that are not their own. The models include: the Replacement model, the Fulfillment model, the Mutuality model, and the Acceptance model. The book is organized in fours parts, a part for each model. Knitter begins with the Replacement model; he says that the Fundamentalists use this model the most. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals make up a big part of contemporary Christianity. Knitter uses a quote by Martin Marty on page 19 to stress the presence of Fundamentalist and Evangelicals; Marty compares them to the rocky mountains of the American landscape, hard to miss. Knitter stresses that people should not …show more content…
The Fulfillment model gained popularity after the second Vatican Council and characterizes many Christian faiths. The fulfillment model recognizes other religions unlike the Replacement Model. It views other religions as true in some sort of way but there is still a religion that is most true, in this case it would be Christianity. The Catholic Church supported this models way of thinking, and Karl Rahner was a Catholic theologian who was in favor of the model. Two ideas Rahner advocated are “all grace is Christ’s grace” and “anonymous Christians.” The Fulfillment model sees the good and grace in non-Christian religions and that dialogue is …show more content…
Grace is the saving element in religions. God is drawing people to him through religious beliefs and rituals so even if they are not baptized they can still find salvation, which brought about the term baptism of desire another idea of Rahner’s Anonymous Christians. He viewed anonymous Christians as people who practice other religions and relish in the Grace of God. Ultimately Rahner viewed religion as a “way of salvation.” The model has pros and cons. A pro being that it acknowledges God’s grace and truth in all religions; Meanwhile, a few cons of the Fulfillment model is that it relies heavily on the Holy Spirit, and it makes Christianity the normal and standard religion, which can disrupt dialogue among other religions. In tandem with the Fulfillment Model, Knitter also recognizes the Mutuality Model. The Mutuality Model or pluralism views all religions as true and they are meant to be in dialogue. Unlike the Fulfillment model, Mutuality model relies more heavily on God’s universal love and presence in other religions. It was argued for in the mid to late 20th century. Two leading supporters were John Hick or Wilfred Cantwell Smith. These theologians and Knitter use an example of three bridges to cross “the theological Rubicon” in order to move away from exclusive claims and allow religious dialogue. The three bridges are philosophical historical, mystical and practical-ethical. Together the three

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