Robert McKim's goal in On Religious Diversity is to distinguish and examine a number of possible responses to the kwledge of other religious traditions that are available to all of us today. He argues that the issues raised will be very pressing throughout the century we have just begun. There is escaping the fact that the presence of competing traditions w confronts each of the traditions in a new and forceful way. More than ever there is a widespread if inchoate recognition of genuine religious sensibilities in others and of genuine religious seriousness that looks familiar. How might the awareness that there are so many traditions affect a member of a particular religious tradition? What attitudes should be taken to the beliefs and salvific prospects of members of other traditions? McKim examines various proposed answers to these questions. He argues that these are generally best thought of as guidelines that in turn admit of considerable further specification. What look like well-defined and discrete positions dissolve somewhat under scrutiny, revealing significantly different possibilities. And what look like clear distinctions are sometimes better understood as a matter of degree. McKim suggests where best to look for the most plausible answers, paying particular attention to the religiously ambiguous nature of our circumstances.
Professor of Religion and of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.