Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy

First Advisor

Neil Manson

Second Advisor

Timothy Yenter

Third Advisor

Drew Billings

Relational Format



This thesis is a methodology for a writing project I have undertaken on Christian inclusivism. My approach to Christian inclusivism is drawn from Paul Tillich, but it is updated and improved by postmodernism and Derrida’s “religion without religion.” To wit: Whatever relief from suffering there is to be found in comparative religion, Jesus must have in principle taught it or something comparable, else by definition he was not the Christ. This type inquiry is unavoidably a form of Christian apologetics, but one that is designed to restore and renew Christian theology in light of the truths of comparative religion rather than the other way around. The questions I grappled with in this thesis are such as these: How do I formulate a truth criterion that is both effective and tradition–neutral among the various religious traditions? How can I conduct interfaith dialogues without falling into syncretism? Most importantly, if I have not structured this inquiry with complete agnosticism and intellectual honesty such that Jesus cannot fail as the Christ, then it is not serious scholarship—hence the title.



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