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
3 Revisiting Bellah’s Sheila in a Religiously Pluralist Century
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
7 Why Not Ten Sixty-Foot Wells?
8 Theology Without Walls: An Interspiritual Approach
9 With Open Doors and Windows: Doing Theology in the Spirit of William James
Part Three. Challenges and Possibilities
10 Is Theology Without Walls Workable? Yes, No, Maybe
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?
16 How to Think Globally and Affiliate Locally
17 Theology Without Walls: Is a Theology for SBNRs Possible?
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
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).