A Critical Analysis and Defense of John Hick's Philosophy of Religious Pluralism

Mary J. Gennuso, Claremont Graduate University


This study conducts a critical analysis and defnse of John Hick's philosohpy of religious pluralism. Contrary to his critics, Hick's theory is shown to be philosophically plausible and logically coherent. However, while the pluralist hypothesis can be defended philosophically, there are theological or religious problems with it. Both the strengths and weaknesses of the hypothesis are drawn out in this study, which is conducted under four main categories - epistemology, ontology, truth calims, and eschatology. Major criticisms of the hypothesis are debunked. Important concepts of Hick's overall philosophy of religion, such as experiencing-as, soul-making, and the Kantian connection, are explored in relation to the hypothesis, as are Hick's influences from the various religions.