Intercultural Theology, Volume Three: A Theology of Interreligious Relations, By Henning Wrogemann alt

Intercultural Theology, Volume Three

A Theology of Interreligious Relations

Missiological Engagements

by Henning Wrogemann

Intercultural Theology, Volume Three
  • Length: 528 pages
  • Published: February 19, 2019
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 7310
  • ISBN: 9780830873104

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Ten Outstanding Books in Mission Studies, World Christianity and Intercultural Theology for 2019 — International Bulletin of Mission Research (IBMR)

Christianity is not only a global but also an intercultural phenomenon.

In this third volume of his three-volume Intercultural Theology, Henning Wrogemann proposes that we need to go beyond currently trending theologies of mission to formulate both a theory of interreligious relations and a related but methodologically independent theology of interreligious relations.

Migratory movements are contributing to an ongoing process of religious pluralization in societies that tended to be more religiously homogenous in the past. Interreligious platforms, movements, and organizations are growing in number. Meanwhile, everyday life continues to be characterized by very different modes of interreligious cooperation. Coming to a better understanding of such modes is a major concern for societies with high levels of religious and cultural plurality.

Wrogemann's conviction is that much would be achieved if we posed new and different questions. When it comes to interreligious relations, what is significant, and what is meaningful? What exactly is a dialogue? Which factors are at play when people from different cultural and religious traditions come into contact with each other as physical beings in real-life situations? What about the different images of the self and of the other? Which interests and hidden motives underlie which claims to validity? Exploring these questions and more in masterful scope and detail, Wrogemann's work will richly inform the study of interreligious relations.

Missiological Engagements charts interdisciplinary and innovative trajectories in the history, theology, and practice of Christian mission, featuring contributions by leading thinkers from both the Euro-American West and the majority world whose missiological scholarship bridges church, academy, and society.

"Wrogemann finishes his trilogy, the Intercultural Theology series, by addressing a key issue facing the global church—interreligious relations. As he points out, what is new about Christian relationships with other religions is that hardly a day goes by that we are not confronted with another religious tradition, often in the form of an adherent of one of those religions. His suggestions on how the global church and global Christians can face this ubiquitous issue are faithful, wise, and valuable. An excellent contribution to the literature."

Terry C. Muck, scholar of religion, comparative missiologist, theological educator, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Böhmer's reader-friendly translation of Wrogemann's third and final volume of Intercultural Theology, A Theology of Interreligious Relations, does not fail to deliver. The first half presents a comprehensive review and assessment of prominent Christian approaches to other religions and an impressive sampling of Muslim and Buddhist approaches to other religions. The second half is a constructive project that moves from a theory to a theology of interreligious relations and offers much-needed methodological clarity to the ongoing debate about the proper relations between intercultural theology, mission studies, and religious studies. Wrogemann's massive contribution is theologically nuanced and should be on the syllabus of every seminary and divinity school seminar that takes seriously the mission of the Christian churches in an increasingly intercultural and interreligious world."

Thomas John Hastings, executive director, OMSC, editor, International Bulletin of Mission Research

"This volume adeptly addresses some of the most pressing challenges facing the church and the human race in view of global migration and increasing religious pluralization. As with the prior two works in this trilogy, Henning Wrogemann highlights cognitivist and elitist misunderstandings of intercultural theology and argues that many theologies of religion do not sufficiently account for true plurality or satisfactorily safeguard the basic gospel mandate. Wrogemann's proposed progressive theory of interreligious relations and accompanying theology of interreligious relations breaks new ground in engaging non-Christian religions in a holistic and sensitive manner. This tour de force should serve as required reading for all Christian leaders seeking to equip the church to bear truthful and gracious witness to Jesus Christ in our ever more complex and diverse world."

Paul Louis Metzger, professor of Christian theology and theology of culture, Multnomah University and Seminary, author of Connecting Christ

"Wrogemann's book is a significant, nuanced and substantial contribution in the area of theology of religions and interreligious relations."

David H. F. Ng, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 1


Preface to the English Edition (2019)
Preface to the German Edition (2015)
1. A Theology of Religions or a Theology of Interreligious Relations?
2. Developments to Date: Christian Classifications of Other Religions

Part I: Newer Christian Theology-of-Religion Models
3. Revisionist Approaches: John Hick and Paul Knitter
4. Interpretive Approaches: Michael von Brück and S. Mark Heim
5. Revisionist and Interpretive Approaches: A Critical Response
6. Selective Approaches: Francis Clooney
7. Interactionist Approaches: Amos Yong
8. Selective and Interactionist Approaches: A Critical Response
9. Comparative Remarks: Six Heuristic Questions

Part II: How Islam and Buddhism View Other Religions
10. The Ultimate Validity of the Qur’an and Religious Plurality: Islamic Perspectives
11. A Liberation-Theological Hermeneutics of the Qur’an: Farid Esack
12. An Islamist Hermeneutics of the Qur’an, and Tolerance: Muhammad Shahrūr
13. Nonadherence and Religious Plurality: Buddhist Perspectives
14. Models of Buddhist Thought
15. A Concluding Comparison: Six Heuristic Questions

Part III: Building Blocks for a Theory of Interreligious Relations
16. Is There a Need for a Theory of Interreligious Relations?
17. What Does Identity Mean? Interaction in Social Networks
18. Inclusions and Exclusions: Ambivalences
19. What Does Recognition Mean? Levels of Acknowledgment
20. Which Factors Are at Play in the Public Sphere? Spatial Relationships and Relationship Spaces
21. Pluralism, Multiculturalism, and the Theory of Society: Background Assumptions
22. The Basic Principles of a Theory of Interreligious Relations: An Outlook

Part IV: The Dialogical in Interreligious Relations
23. Dialogues and Intentions: Encounters
24. Dialogues and the Dialogical: Signs
25. Dialogue: Yes, but with Whom? Discourses
26. The Goal of Dialogue: The Proper Balance Between Intimacy and Dissociation

Part V: Toward a Theology of Interreligious Relations
27. A Theology of Interreligious Relations as a New Approach: Theses
28. The Power and Love of the One God: On the Biblical Concept of God
29. The Interreligious Communication of Jesus Christ: Searching for Traces
30. The Fellowship of the Spirit as a Contrast Model: The Example of 1 Peter
31. Endorsing Both a Dualistic Worldview and Pacifism? Taking Revelation as an Example
32. Ultimate-Justification Models as the Basis for Interreligious Relations: Looking Forward

Part VI: Intercultural Theology/Mission Studies and Religious Studies
33. Intercultural Theology: Implications of the Term
34. Intercultural Theology/Mission Studies: Dimensions
35. Intercultural Theology and Religious Studies: Looking Forward
Name Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Henning Wrogemann (DTheol, DHabil, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg) is a world-renowned missiologist and scholar of religion. He holds the chair for mission studies, comparative religion, and ecumenics at the Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel in Germany, where he also heads the Institute for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies. He is the author of Intercultural Theology.

Previously, Wrogemann served as a pastor in northern Germany, as the senior lecturer for missiology and comparative religion at the Mission Seminary Hermannsburg, and as a member of the mission board of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Lower-Saxony, Germany.