Shorter Reviews -- Disputed Questions in Theology and the Philosophy of Religion by John Hick

Article excerpt

Disputed Questions in Theology and the Philosophy of Religion, by John Hick. Yale University Press, New haven, 1993. 198 pp. $22.50. ISBN 0-300-05354-1.

THIS IS A CONVENIENT COLLECTION of eleven essays, nearly all previously published. They cover topics on which Hick has left a familiar mark: epistemology (2), christology (3), religious pluralism (5), and life after death (1). The epistemological essays continue Hick's nuanced case for the validity of religious experience and for a realistic interpretation of that experience. The christological essays extend his criticism of incarnational doctrines and defend his own version of an "inspiration Christology" as truer to the historical Jesus and more conducive to harmony with other faiths. The articles on religious pluralism develop aspects of Hick's "pluralistic hypothesis" that the religions are alike, culturally determined responses to the same ultimate divine reality, and include a brief personal note about his pilgrimage toward this view. The piece on life after death hypothesizes a series of future lives for individual souls or karmic streams that take place not in this world but in other spiritual realms, eventually progressing toward a single unitive state. …