Cultural Diversity And Religious Pluralism
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  • 1. CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND RELIGIOUS PLURALISM: THE CHURCH’S MISSION IN ASIA Peter C. Phan Peter Phan is Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He received his S.T.D. from the Pontifica Universitas Salesiana, Rome and his Ph.D from the University of London. He has authored several books and contributed numerous articles to theological journals. A prolific writer, his most recent publications are In Our Own Tongues: Perspectives from Asia on Mission and Inculturation and Christianity with an Asian Face: Asian American Theology in the Making. Both are published by Orbis Books. Cultural diversity and religious pluralism are often associated together in theological discourse on the contemporary challenges to the Church’s mission. Conceptually, however, they refer of course to different realities. Cultural diversity connotes the co-existence of many and different cultures in a particular location, whereas religious pluralism refers not only to religious diversity—that is, the simultaneous presence of several, at times mutually exclusive and even mutually hostile, religions in one and the same location— but also, and more importantly, to the heightened consciousness, ever more widespread since modernity, of the necessarily relational and historically embedded character of all exclusive and absolute claims, including religious ones, a feature that seems to render such exclusive and absolute claims problematic if not impossible. http://eapi.admu.edu.ph/eapr006/peterphan.htm