Salvation in Non-Christian Religions: Approaches of Christian Theologians in the Post Modern Era

Muhammad Shahid Habib

Abstract


The Church believes in the salvation of the followers of the other faiths as it is the Divine Will. This development of thought about other faiths was the result of many prominent Christian theologians. Among them was Karl Rahner who coined the term “anonymous Christians” for the non-Christians. Rahner ensures that the Christian message lawfully led the non-Christians to eternal salvation. To another influential theologian John Hick, God is the focal point of salvation. His universal love is the key to salvation for all humans. Hans Kung was an advocate of inclusivism. He affirms that there is salvation outside the church but only through Christ who does not confine his salvific grace to Christians only. Paul Knitter a Roman Catholic theologian insists that Christians must regard other responses as salvific because of universal will of God. Christ, to him is the final cause of salvation. The most creative theologian among the contemporary Americans was John Cobb who assigns special meaning to the term “Christ”. To him, Christ is the way that excludes no ways. To Edward Schillebeeckx, salvation is encountered in the daily living and worshiping of humans. The documents of the second Vatican Council also promote fellowship with different religions as all are heading toward the one God and all the prophets carried the His plan of salvation. The objectives of the study are to explore the approaches of Christian theologians in the post-modern era. The study is descriptive in nature. Internal and external criticism has been done to meet the objectives of the study. The study is significant for the religious scholars, researchers and curriculum developers.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n3s2p163


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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