Rejecting Neutrality, Respecting Diversity: From “Liberal Pluralism” to “Christian Pluralism”

Jonathan Chaplin

In this essay, Jonathan Chaplin recommends a “Christian pluralist” response to the political challenges posed by deep religious diversity. The first part introduces a typology of pluralisms, and the second and third parts survey contrasting liberal stances toward pluralism. The fourth part then identifies and critiques three Christian responses to pluralism. The final part argues that Christian political thinkers should embrace the full implications of their own critiques of liberalism: that there is no such thing as pluralism simpliciter but rather a plurality of pluralisms, each expressing a definite political perspective. “Christian pluralism” is not only not a contradiction in terms but is an essential aspiration for an authentically Christian political perspective. Mr. Chaplin is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the Institute for Christian Studies (Toronto).

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Last Updated: January 1, 2006
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