In this book the authors, a Christian theologian and an atheistic Buddhist philosopher, examine the five major world religions--Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam--in order to demonstrate that each is a particular expression of one, common "world theology." They argue that each of these religions is centrally concerned with the same basic attempt to define the meaning and purpose of human life, and to comprehend a spiritual reality. Each is a culture-specific expression of a universal religious phenomenon, and the differing conceptualizations of the spiritual in these religions can be understood as symbolic expressions of one spiritual reality, which transcends the bounds of any one religious expression. Explaining both the symbolic differences and the essential commonalities of the major world religions, the authors argue that these religions should be considered mutually complementary rather than contradictory. This book points the way toward integrating the world's religions in a systematic manner in order to arrive at a common, world theology.
"N. Ross Reat and Edmond F. Perry have produced a striking and original volume, which will be especially of concern to Christians and other theologians and intellectuals who wish to come to terms with the new world order. For world civilization, now emerging, demands a new deal between religions (and ideologies). They well prepare the way." Ninian Smart, University of California, Santa Barbara "[The authors'] arguments are complex and full-bodied...the makings of a minor classic in its field." Library Journal "This is an original, significant, and well-informed contribution to the growing literature on interreligious dialogue." Religious Studies Review