Is Christian Exclusivism Repressive or Otherwise Morally Reprehensible?


It is often claimed that when Christians believe and affirm that Christ is the only way to God, they commit acts of repression or otherwise morally reprehensible acts vis-à-vis adherents of other religions. This claim is issued, among others, by such theologians as Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, John Cobb, and Paul Knitter. In this talk I analyze what is required, in general, for someone to qualify as ‘an exclusivist concerning X’, and argue that not even the staunchest critics of exclusivism can escape fulfilling these requirements—so that even the critics of exclusivism will be exclusivists. Finally I argue that Christian exclusivism is morally unobjectionable.