Theistic Humanism and the Hermeneutic Appraisal of the Doctrine of Salvation


This essay uses theistic humanism as a super structure to do a hermeneutic appraisal of the doctrine of salvation in a pluralistic world. It operates on the assumption that reality is multidimensional, just as human belief systems and cultural perspectives are diverse. More importantly, is the point that most countries on the African continent house a potpourri of belief systems, prominent among which are Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion (ATR). Thus, theistic humanism offers us the opportunity to do a pluralistic assessment of salvation, thereby making myriad interpretations of the notion of salvation possible.Again, the essay neither intends to examine the meaning of God nor is it interested in analyzing how God gets manifested in human existence. Rather, the basic objective is to consider the various ways in which salvation has been conceived in relation to the human condition. In the process of our delineation, it shall be shown that salvation as a doctrine can be conceived from two principal angles which are:1) the perspective of religion and2) the non-religious or secularist perspective. Whereas the first presents other-worldly account of salvation, the second presents a this-worldly account of salvation. The import here is that since in the most ordinary sense, God is all about perfection and human goodness, it implies that the quest for salvation in whatever dimension, deliberately or inadvertently, amounts to the search for the ultimate essence or the most perfect state of reality which religions call God. Consequently, the burden of this essay is to show that salvation is an ideal state of reality which humankind is striving to attain. Bearing in mind that humans as free beings that have the capacity to interpret salvation either anthropocentrically or theocentrically, thereby, making the myriad presentations of salvation possible; one is of the view that metaphysical notions of reality are also contagious of salvation. Hence, for monists and reductionists the way to salvation is narrow and single, while for the pluralists the way to salvation may be narrow but diverse. Thus, since the hermeneutic appraisal of salvation is hinged on the assumption that belief systems are diverse and multi-faceted, the essay privileges the pluralistic presentation of salvation over and above the monistic presentation of salvation.

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Okoro, C. (2013). Theistic Humanism and the Hermeneutic Appraisal of the Doctrine of Salvation. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 264-272. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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