Multiple Religious Belonging and Theologies of Multiplicity: Confluences of Oneness and Porosity, by Rachel A. Heath

Though interreligious engagement is not necessarily a given for those who identify with or belong to more than one tradition, attending to the question of interfaith participation might help scholars and practitioners recognize the central issues that emerge in both the theory and practice of Multiple Religious Belonging (MRB), especially in participants’ relation between and among traditions. Multiple religious belonging directly challenges this ethos of oneness and underscores the need for postures or logics that do not, in the end, revert to an absolute unity. Interpreting MRB through the lens of theologies of multiplicity, in particular those from Laurel C. Schneider and Catherine Keller, may provide a remedy that diverges from a politics of representation that too often focuses on unitary or fixed manifestations of both individual religious identities and communal religious traditions. Ultimately, this paper will show how concepts from constructive Christian theologies that are attuned to ontological and epistemic multiplicity—in their attention to how the rhetoric of oneness operates—may be helpful in supporting the project of thinking of multiple religious belonging as coherent, as it relates to both individuals and to traditions.

Keywords: multiple religious belonging, multiplicity, interfaith dialogue, oneness, porosity, constructive theology, coherence, power relations, logic of the one, Christian hegemony, chaplaincy

Comments are closed.

Join The Discussion

You can participate in discussions of all Journal articles that we publish. Click Discuss this article and add your voice to the dialogue.