Joseph Ratzinger’s Soteriological Inclusivism

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Anton , E 2018 , ' Joseph Ratzinger’s Soteriological Inclusivism ' , Journal of Theological Studies , vol. 69 , no. 1 , pp. 170-190 .

Title: Joseph Ratzinger’s Soteriological Inclusivism
Author: Anton, Emil
Contributor organization: Faculty of Theology
Date: 2018-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Journal of Theological Studies
ISSN: 0022-5185
Abstract: This article examines the position of Joseph Ratzinger with regard to the classical question in the field of the theology of religions, the salvation of non-Christians. In criticism of a recent book by Ambrose Mong, it is argued that Ratzinger is not a soteriological exclusivist but an optimistic restrictivist inclusivist. As explained by Gavin D'Costa, restrictivist inclusivists allow for the salvation of non-Christians, though they do not regard non-Christian religions as salvific structures per se. While restricting the salvific activity of God to the human conscience or certain positive elements in non-Christian cultures, this kind of an inclusivist may still be a soteriological optimist, as proves to be the case with Ratzinger. Having examined the subjective and objective aspects of Ratzinger's inclusivism, namely the concepts of conscience and Stellvertretung (vicarious representation), the article shows that in the 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi the two lines of thought are combined by Pope Benedict XVI in a reinterpretation of the doctrine of purgatory, in such a way that 'the great majority' of people are believed to reach eternal salvation.
Subject: 614 Theology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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