Religiones Antiquae: Reviving Nostra Aetate to Expand the Scope of Salvation “History”, by Christopher Denny

The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) is better understood as a document about the Catholic Church than about other religions. Nostra Aetate’s most important value is what its assertions mean about the Body of Christ, rather than about those who are not Christian. This does not mean that the Declaration is not a positive asset for interreligious relations. In fact, it is the ecclesiology of Nostra Aetate that can serve as a foundation for a more productive phase of interreligious dialogue and comparative theology in the twenty-first century. Applying the insights of Raimundo Panikkar on Hinduism and Robert Magliola on Buddhism to Nostra Aetate provides an opportunity to broaden the Church’s construction of salvation history. In the twenty-first century, the Catholic Church must try to forge a shared understanding of salvation history with Hindus and Buddhists.

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