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The Depth of the Riches
A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends
S Mark Heim
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POD; Published: 11/22/2000
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2669-5
Price: $ 31.50
328 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Series: Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology Postmodern Age

Religious pluralism is today the most challenging issue facing traditional Christianity. This constructive work by S. Mark Heim, a leading voice on the subjects of religious pluralism and interfaith relations, probes the Christian understanding of God and salvation and offers a new perspective on religious pluralism that affirms unique salvation in Christ while also recognizing the religious ends in other faiths.

The questions explored here are both difficult and enlightening. What is the distinctive nature of salvation? Is there a place in Christian theology for recognizing other religious ends in addition to salvation? In pursuit of meaningful answers, Heim uses the classical doctrine of the Trinity to develop a theology that allows Christians to respect the possibility that alternative relations with God exist in other religions.
Association of Theological Booksellers, Theologos Award for Best Academic Book (2001)
The Expository Times
"Heim is addressing a very serious question for a culturally plural world, in an original and fruitful way, and this book is highly commended for anyone exercised by the issue."
Religious Studies Review
"Clearly written and cogently argued, this book advances the discussion of religious pluralism in many fruitful directions. The most substantive alternative to John Hick's view to date."
Clark Pinnock
"The problem of religious pluralism is transformed if there are multiple ends and not merely one. S. Mark Heim's Dante-like proposal, grounded in the Holy Trinity, enables one to hold fast to the unique saving role of Jesus Christ while also valuing the contribution of other faiths and approaching them with courtesy and respect. No one can say, having considered Heim's work, that the well of insight has gone dry in this important area of theology."
M. Thomas Thangaraj
"How do I maintain an attitude of respect for and reverence toward other religions without compromising my strong commitment to the Christian faith? Christians cannot but struggle with this question in today's setting of religious pluralism. S. Mark Heim assists us in this struggle by offering a clear analysis of the grammar of religious diversity and a creative exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity. This book presents 'a meditation on the Trinity,' one that celebrates both the unique act of salvation in Jesus the Christ and the trinitarian plenitute that houses a variety of religious ends. Heim writes in such a way that, while reading his book, we can think, argue, and pray—all at the same time."
Paul F. Knitter
"This is one of the most challenging and, I must admit, unsettling alternatives to the so-called pluralist theology of other religions that I have ever encountered. Following up on his bold proposal in his earlier book Salvations, S. Mark Heim here uses a creative interpretation of the Trinity to lay a Christian foundation for his claim that the religions of the world are not different paths to the same goal but represent different goals—goals that may endure not only throughout history but into eternity. Such a radical affirmation of diversity, Heim shows, makes for both better dialogue and better proclamation. This is a book that at once enlightens and tantalizes."
Theological Book Review
"This is a most exciting, readable and learned exploration of the Christian Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, of a kind which enables the acceptance of a radical religious pluralism without compromising the unique salvific role of Jesus Christ. The implications of this major theological approach to other world faiths are of great significance. . . The style is clear and attractive. Although the material is at times complex, it should be within the capabilities of the serious student of theology."
Modern Theology
"Heim makes an original and challenging contribution to the discussion of Christian relations with other religions in his attempt to take religious difference absolutely seriously. . . Heim's thesis deserves careful critical attention."
Paul J. Griffiths
"S. Mark Heim has for some years been among the most creative and interesting theologians writing about religious diversity. His book titled Salvations was a careful and challenging theoretical essay on the promise of a properly pluralistic theology of religious diversity?a theology that would be genuinely pluralistic in recognizing the possibility of deep, thoroughgoing difference in religious ends. This new book develops those abstract theoretical suggestions in a properly theological way by using trinitarian doctrine. Heim's use of specifically Christian conceptual resources to think about religious diversity produces a scintillating treatise that is a model of how theology should be done and of how, when it is done as it should be, it can yield insight into apparently intractable problems. This book should change the agenda for Christians who want to think about religious diversity."