Towards a Latter-day Saint Theology of Religions: Living theologically in a pluralist world
AbstractThis article will draw on the experiences of the presenter as a Latter-day Saint who has been involved in teaching world religions and in inter-faith activities over the last 30 years in striving to accomplish two tasks. First, with regard to Latter-day Saint belief it seeks to formulate a theology of religions. To assist with the construction of a theology of religions the paper will utilize existing Christian scholarship on theology of religions. This will argue that the debate surrounding theologies of religion and engagement with other religions from the perspective of wider Christianity can be used to help to develop a Latter-day Saint approach to these issues. The role of any theology of religions should not be merely to inform a person’s belief but also to provide a basis for inter-faith relationships. Thus the second task of this paper is to explore how a Latter-day Saint theology of religions may influence the Church and its members’ engagement with other religions. The main argument will be that Latter-day Saint involvement in inter-faith conversation can continue to flourish, but must do so with a much firmer background and idea of intent. Establishing a theological background for dialogue will provide Latter-day Saints with a greater understanding of why these interactions are important, and will offer the principles that conversations should uphold and be guided by. This article begins an exploration of the framework for inter-faith dialogue within a pluralist world. The main writings within Mormonism with regard to other religions have tended to focus on surface convergence and have sometimes been apologetic in nature. Other writings have been of the attitude that Mormonism should stand independent from the world and its religions. This article attempts to posit a middle way, where both strands of Latter-day Saint teaching are respected. While some Mormon engagement with other religions has been taking place, the majority has been focused on particular traditions with no systematic development of a theological paradigm for such engagement.
CitationHolt, J. D. (2023 - forthcoming). Towards a Latter-day Saint theology of religions: Living theologically in a pluralist world. Journal of Mormon History, vol(issue), pp. doi:
PublisherMormon History Association
JournalJournal of Mormon History
DescriptionThis document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a published work that appeared in final form in Journal of Mormon History. To access the final edited and published work see http://dx.doi.org/[doi journal link].
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