Exclusive religious claims

Religious exclusiveness
Claims to exclusive supremacy
Exclusivist spiritual claims
Exclusivist religion
Some religious groups fear dialogue with other traditions because they suppose it endangers faith, others oppose it because it seems to reject from the start the radical claims of their tradition to unique and exclusive insights. Any apparent surrender of such bold claims causes deep uneasiness. Such claims tend to invalidate the wisdom and understanding of other traditions and are a prime catalyst for religious conflict.
Many Christians hold that: only in Christ is there any salvation and there is no salvation in any other name; the cross is the universal means of salvation; and that Jesus is a unique incarnation of the divine. In Jesus Christ they hold that they have been given a revelation that is superior to, normative for, unsurpassable by, and definitive to all other truth. Similarly Muslims make strong and unique claims for the decisive importance of Mohammed. During the 1980s, many Christian theologians recognized the inadequacies of even "liberal" attitudes toward other faiths which, having abandoned the exclusivist claims of Christianity as the only true religion, still held to Christianity as the inclusive fulfilment of all other religions. Only few accept the possible parity and validity of other religions alongside Christianity.
1. Not all claims to exclusive supremacy are meant as objectively literal statements. If traditions are sufficiently different, the likelihood of flat contradictions is remote. Apparent contradictions can usually be resolved into non-contradictory differences.

2. Exclusivist claims may be viewed as part of the historical process through which a community of faith seeks to establish its identity and to differentiate itself from other traditions before being able to come to dialogue with them. Alternatively, when subjected to exegetical, hermeneutic and contextual study, such claims can be seen as intended to reinforce knowledge and confession within a tradition rather than being directed to those outside it.

3. "This attitude...is directed to the destruction of all religions, but particularly the Catholic faith, which cannot be placed on a level with other religions without serious injustice, since it alone is true." Moreover, to contend that there is nothing to choose between contradictories and among contraries can lead only to this fatal conclusion: a reluctance to accept any religion either in theory or practice. (Papal Encyclical, Ad Petri Cathedram, 29 June 1959).

4. A philosophy in which there shines even a glimmer of the truth of Christ, the one definitive answer to humanity's problems, will provide a potent underpinning for the true and planetary ethics which the world now needs. (Papal Encyclical, Fides et Ratio, 14 September 1998).

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems