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"An Exposition and Critique of John Hick's Christology"

Han Jang-ho, B.M.C. (Korea)

Licentiate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization in Systematic-Dogmatic Theology.
Adviser: Fr. Manuel Francisco, S.J., S.T.D.


Today’s society is a so-called religiously pluralistic society. Adherents of many religions are endeavoring interfaith-dialogue in the atmosphere of pluralistic consciousness. John Hick is one of the radical religious theologians who represents pluralists. For him, religions constitute varying human responses within the setting of different cultures or forms of human life to the same infinite transcendent divine reality. He insists that Christianity must abandon the doctrine of the “incarnation”€ and shift from a Christocentric to a Theocentric paradigm. According to his argument, the idea of divine incarnation is a metaphorical idea. When a truth or a value is lived out in a human life, it is a natural metaphor to speak of its being incarnated in that life.
In this pluralistic world, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ is seriously put into question. And the theories of pluralists are in profound conflict with Christian faith. Therefore, this dissertation delves on the identity of Christianity in a religiously pluralistic world with an attempt to explore John Hick’s Christology. By applying Hick’s theory to Korean shamanism Moo, the researcher presents Korean Christians’ correct attitude in Korean pluralistic society.
The scope of this study has four dimensions. The first step analyzes the Christian viewpoint of religious pluralism and Hick’s epistemology. The second step studies Hick’s Christology and Copernican revolution of theology. The third step is a critical review and positive evaluation of John Hick. The last step is the practical application of Korea’s religiously pluralistic society. With this background, this research then explores Korea’s shamanism Moo. The author hopes that a comparative study of the Moo and Christianity might help the latter respond to religious pluralism in Korea while retaining their Christian identity. Lastly, the author concludes from his research what position Christianity should take in this religiously pluralized world.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: 21 January 2019

Board of Examiners: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Manuel Francisco, S.J., S.T.D., Dr. Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W., D.Phil.

Proposal Defense:

Date: October 11, 2017

Board of Examiners: Fr. Manuel Francisco, S.J., S.T.D. (Adviser), Dr. Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W., and Fr. Ronald Bagley, C.J.M., D.Min.

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Loyola School of Theology