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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

This paper first uncovers the subtle spiritual narcissism that has characterized historical approaches

to religious diversity and discusses the shortcomings of the main forms of religious pluralism that

have been proposed as its antidote: ecumenical, soteriological, postmodern, and metaphysical. It

then argues that a participatory pluralism paves the way for an appreciation of religious diversity that

eschews the dogmatism and competitiveness involved in privileging any particular tradition over the

rest without falling into cultural-linguistic or naturalistic reductionisms. Discussion includes the

question of the validity of spiritual truths and the development of a participatory critical theory of

religion. The essay concludes with an exploration of different scenarios for the future of religion–

global religion, mutual transformation, interspiritual wisdom, and spirituality without religion–and

proposes that such a future may be shaped by spiritually individuated persons engaged in processes

of cosmological hybridization in the context of a common spiritual family. A participatory approach

to spirituality turns the problem of religious plurality into a celebration of the critical spirit of

pluralism.

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Creative Commons License
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