Symposium Introduction


Douglas Hedley
Gavin Flood
Benjamin Sommer
Catherine Cornille
Michelle Voss
John D. Dadosky




One common argument against taking the notion of divine revelation seriously is the extraordinrary diversity which exists betwen the world’s major religions. How can God be thought to have spoken to humanity when the conclusions drawn are so very different? David Brown authoritatively and persuasively tackles this issue head-on. He refutes the idea that all faiths necessarily culminate in Christianity, or that they can be reduced to some facile lowest common denominator, arguing instead that ideas may emerge more naturally in one context than another. Sometimes, because of its own singular situation, another religion has proved to be more perceptive on a particular issue than Christianity. At other times, no religion will hold the ultimate answer because what can be asserted is heavily dependent on what is viable both scientifically and philosophically. Although complete reconciliation is impossible, a richer notion of revelation – so the author suggests – can be the result.


Reviews and Endorsements


‘Learning from Other Religions brings new impetus to the debate about relations between other religions and one’s own. Written by a leading Christian theologian, it contests the conventional classifications of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism and raises the challenging prospect that God’s activities can be seen in all religions. It urges followers of each religion to appreciate the insights achieved in others and to discover the massive wealth and variety within them. The book takes this well-worn discussion in an appealing if demanding new direction.’–David Thomas – Emeritus Professor of Christianity and Islam, University of Birmingham

‘Learning from Other Religions reveals the analytical strengths of a leading scholar who has reflected over decades on the nature of religion. It shows the characteristics of a serious thinker whose engagement with religiosity and belief has changed with the times. Here the transformations of the modern world are recognized in a changed context where practitioners of other faiths are often one’s immediate neighbours. The book marks a new level of inter-religious understanding and is motivated by a positive sense of hospitality towards the religious other in its many different forms. It is rare to find such a detailed, broad-based account of the principal religions. It is also encouraging to find a genuine openness towards these other religions and a preparedness to take them seriously on their own terms.’–Oliver Davies – Emeritus Professor of Christian Doctrine, King’s College London

‘This good and interesting book has a definite and clear aim – to improve understanding of religions by greater knowledge of their origins, histories, and inner diversity. It has great merit, focussed on a well-argued advocacy of a particular view of revelation and religious understanding.’–Keith Ward – FBA, Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus, University of Oxford

‘While this masterful survey evidences an extraordinarily wide knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, Brown’s imaginative readings – marked by both rigour and generosity – move us ineluctably beyond mere pluralism towards a richly textured, complex and reverential re-envisioning of the very meaning of revelation. Anybody engaged in inter faith encounter will find their insight deepened and their sympathy enlarged through his always careful yet often surprising reflections.’–Michael Ipgrave – OBE Bishop of Lichfield

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