Theology Without Walls : The Transreligious Imperative book cover
1st Edition

Theology Without Walls
The Transreligious Imperative

Edited By

Jerry L. Martin

ISBN 9780367028718
Published October 7, 2019 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Thinking about ultimate reality is becoming increasingly transreligious. This transreligious turn follows inevitably from the discovery of divine truths in multiple traditions. Global communications bring the full range of religious ideas and practices to anyone with access to the internet. Moreover, the growth of the "nones" and those who describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious" creates a pressing need for theological thinking not bound by prescribed doctrines and fixed rituals. This book responds to this vital need.

The chapters in this volume each examine the claim that if the aim of theology is to know and articulate all we can about the divine reality, and if revelations, enlightenments, and insights into that reality are not limited to a single tradition, then what is called for is a theology without confessional restrictions. In other words, a Theology Without Walls. To ground the project in examples, the volume provides emerging models of transreligious inquiry. It also includes sympathetic critics who raise valid concerns that such a theology must face.

This is a book that will be of urgent interest to theologians, religious studies scholars, and philosophers of religion. It will be especially suitable for those interested in comparative theology, inter-religious and interfaith understanding, new trends in constructive theology, normative religious studies, and global philosophy of religion.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors


Jerry L. Martin

Part One. Why Theology Without Walls?

1 Paideias and Programs for Theology Without Walls

Robert Cummings Neville

2 In Spirit and Truth: Toward a Theology Without Walls

Richard Oxenberg

3 Revisiting Bellah’s Sheila in a Religiously Pluralist Century

Christopher Denny

4 Theology Without Walls as Open-Field-Theology

Kurt Anders Richardson

Part Two. Experience and Transformation

5 Theology Without Walls as the Quest for Interreligious Wisdom

John J. Thatamanil

6 My Buddha-Nature and My Christ-Nature

Paul Knitter

7 Why Not Ten Sixty-Foot Wells?

Peter Savastano

8 Theology Without Walls: An Interspiritual Approach

Rory McEntee

9 With Open Doors and Windows: Doing Theology in the Spirit of William James

Jonathan Weidenbaum

Part Three. Challenges and Possibilities

10 Is Theology Without Walls Workable? Yes, No, Maybe

Peter Feldmeier

11 Daunting Choices in Transreligious Theology: A Case Study

Wesley J. Wildman with Jerry L. Martin

12 Cognitive Science of Religion and the Nature of the Divine: A Pluralist Non- Confessional Approach

Johan De Smedt and Helen De Cruz

13 Love and Desire, Human and Divine: A Trans-Religious Naturalist Account

Wesley J. Wildman

Part Four. Theologizing in a Multi-Religious World

14 Dialogue and Transreligious Understanding: A Hermeneutical Approach

J. R. Hustwit

15 Strategic Religious Participation in a Shared Religious Landscape: A Model for Westerners?

Paul Hedges

16 How to Think Globally and Affiliate Locally

Jeanine Diller

17 Theology Without Walls: Is a Theology for SBNRs Possible?

Linda Mercadante

Part Five. Expanded Confessional Theologies

18 More Window Than Wall: The Comparative Expansion of Confessional Theology

S. Mark Heim

19 Strong Walls for an Open Faith

Francis X. Clooney, SJ

20 A Hinduism Without Walls? Exploring the Concept of the Avatar Inter-Religiously

Jeffery D. Long

21 My Path to a Theology of Qi

Hyo-Dong Lee

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Jerry L. Martin has served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities and of the Philosophy Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has also taught at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. He has published on issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, transreligious theology, and public policy. In 2014, he founded the Theology Without Walls project, which meets with the American Academy of Religion. He is the author of God: An Autobiography, as Told to a Philosopher (2016).