5. Newman’s Liberalism in the Context of Contemporary Pluralism 131
131 Chapter 5 Newman’s Liberalism in the Context of Contemporary Pluralism In the last two chapters, I have sought to cast light on Newman’s un- derstanding of liberalism, engaging in various primary and secondary sources to find out which aspects of his ideas are liberal and which are not. As we have seen, the word ‘liberalism’ carries heavy historical baggage and depends on how it is understood and in what context. Trailing his liberal spirit, seeing him as a theologically progres- sive genius, this chapter is a culmination of Newman’s liberal ideas – his understanding of non-Christian religions in relation to Christianity. One of his first principles is his insistence on the historical nature of God’s revelation and continuing self-communication. The application of this first principle of his liberal thought can help us to access the claims of the pluralist, inclusivist, and exclusivist theology of relig- ions. The Vatican document, Dominus Iesus (2000), deals with the challenges posed to Christianity, the rise of religious pluralism, and seeks to defend the unity of the economy of salvation and the incarna- tional principle in the Christian faith. It insists on the trinitarian char- acter of God and the necessity of the invisible church which continues Christ’s saving work. These claims have been challenged by the plu- ralist theology of religions that views Christian faith like every other religious tradition, which can be interpreted in one perspective, one world view, and which has developed alongside with other religions in history. Gordon D. Kaufman argues...
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