Friday, January 11, 2013

Review of Dermot Lane’s “Stepping Stones To Other Religions: A Christian Theology of Inter-Religious Dialogue”


In Stepping Stones to Other ReligionsDermot Lane offers an entry into interreligious engagement for Christians (particularly Roman Catholics) in the twenty-first century. It serves as a commendable introduction to the topic and makes the basic argument for why the Catholic faith mandates engaging other traditions in a respectful way while striving for mutual learning. The text is rigorously organized, yet does not delve into any one particular theme in too great of detail.
The main thrust of the work surfaces in his review of the current context of interreligious dialogue (i.e., twenty-first century pluralized, globalized, and postmodern world), a brief history of the Catholic Church’s official positions and responses to other religions over the years, and a constructive proposal of a Christian theology of the Spirit for interreligious dialogue. Lane also devotes a chapter to a brief, yet effective, overview of Rahner’s contribution to interreligious dialogue (e.g., experience of God, grace and nature, Christology, anonymous Christianity, etc.), which serves as the foundation upon which he proposes his own theology going forward.
In chapter one, after articulating the promises and perils of both modernity and postmodernity, Lane argues that in the world of the twenty-first century, “the task facing theology … is one that requires not a return to pre-modern forms of faith, or a na├»ve embrace of either modernity or post-modernity; instead, it necessitates a rescuing of modernity in the light of some of the critiques from post-modernity” (46-47).
Read the rest here

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