Salvation and the ‘Other’ in Islamic Thought: The Contemporary Pluralism Debate (in English)



In recent decades, certain prominent Muslim academics have produced works written in English that portray Islam as a pluralistic faith, specifically one that affirms the salvific efficacy of other religious traditions. These advocates of Islamic pluralism hold that even a non-Muslim who has a deep understanding of Islamic revelation yet chooses to remain as an ‘Other’ may attain salvation and dwell in Paradise. Although these scholars tend to reference similar passages of the Quran in making their case for religious ecumenism and against exclusivism, their approaches and assumptions tend to vary significantly. Whatever one makes of their diverse arguments, they are unlikely to attract a significant following among traditionally trained Muslim theologians in the near future. Nevertheless, the debate that the contemporary pluralist discourse has generated involves important discussions, pertinent not just to scholars of Islamic thought, but also to participants in interfaith and interreligious dialog.