1st Edition

Theology Without Walls The Transreligious Imperative

Edited By Jerry L. Martin Copyright 2020
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    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).