Christian Theology and Religious Pluralism: A Critical Evaluation of John Hick

By David S. Nah

An illuminating critique of the theological basis of the philosopher John Hick’s religious pluralism, in particular his views on traditional Christology.

ISBN: 9780227680155


The question of religious pluralism is the most significant yet thorniest of issues in theology today, and John Hick (1922-2012) has long been recognized as its most important scholar. However, while much has been written analysing the philosophical basis of Hick’s pluralism, very little attention has been devoted to the theological aspects of his argument. Filling this gap, Christian Theology and Religious Pluralism examines Hick’s theological attempts to systematically deconstruct the Church’s traditional incarnational Christology.

David S. Nah presents Hick’s formulation of a Christology for a pluralistic age, referring to the fundamental arguments affirming Christianity. This is followed by a critical evaluation which considers Hick’s theological theories whilst defending the traditional Church’s ‘two-natures doctrine’ of Christ. Special attention is given to evaluating Hick’s foundational theses “that Jesus himself did not teach what was to become the orthodox Christian understanding of him” and “that the dogma of Jesus’ two natures … has proved to be incapable of being explicated in any satisfactory way”. Through his analysis, Nah concludes that Hick was unwarranted in breaking away from the Church’s incarnational Christology that has been at the core of Christianity for almost two thousand years.

An important new work, Christian Theology and Religious Pluralism will be invaluable to both students and academics in the fields of theology and philosophy of religion.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 242

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

David S. Nah is Associate Professor of Theology at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He obtained his PhD from the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.



1. Religious Pluralism and John Hick
2. Hick’s Philosophy of Religious Pluralism
3. Hick’s Theology of Religious Pluralism
4. An Evaluation of Hick’s Historical Arguments
5. An Evaluation of Hick’s Conceptual Arguments



Endorsements and Reviews

David Nah must be congratulated for producing both a most thorough analysis of John Hick’s brand of religious pluralism and a most competent defense of traditional two-natures Christology against Hick’s critique and his proposed alternative of metaphorical Christology. I heartily recommend this recent addition to the literature on John Hick to all interested in both sides of the issue.
Anselm K. Min, Claremont Graduate University

Nah’s work is marked by generous and appreciative words for Hick … Nah hits his target or raises very serious questions that Hick does not answer.
Paul Hedges, in Modern Believing, Vol 54.3

… the book is immensely helpful in carefully outlining Hick’s Christology in relation to religious pluralism – and offering a robust rejoinder not unlike that achieved by Carruthers, but Nah certainly brings the debate up to date.
Gavin D’Costa, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 21, No 1

This volume is accessible to students as an introduction to theology of religions within a specific doctrinal context. Theologians and philosophers of religion will recognize that this volume emphasizes important methodological and philosophical issues involved in the work of finding common ground across diverse religions.
Nathan G. Wheeler, Liberty University, in Theological Book Review, Vol 25, No 2

Nah provides an impressive model of theological polemics with his respectful and fair engagement with his former teacher’s ideas. The lucidity of the argument suggests that we will be hearing much more from him going forward.
Amos Yong, Regent University School of Divinity, in Religious Studies Review, Vol 39, No 2

… this book can be strongly recommended as an introduction to the pluralistic theory of religion and the main arguments of its opponents.
Michael Bongardt, in Theologische Literaturzeitung, No 140, Heft 1/2