God’s Providence and the Plurality of Religions

Vojtěch Novotný

God’s Providence and the Plurality of Religions

Číslo: 1/2021
Periodikum: Acta Universitatis Carolinae Theologica
DOI: 10.14712/23363398.2021.3

Klíčová slova: Document on Human Fraternity; Hermeneutics; Islam; Christianity

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Anotace: The ‘Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together’, co-signed on 4 February 2019 by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, states: ‘The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.’ The article presents the starting points of correct hermeneutics of this statement. It points out that it is a positive reformulation of the anti-discrimination human rights declarations, which list the criteria according to which people cannot be discriminated. It shows the compatibility of the statement with the Quran, which presupposes a plurality of successive and graded revelations of God and religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It then represents the reactions with which Catholic theologians responded to the statement: the accusation of the Pope of heresy; the claim that while God’s creative will has instilled a natural religion in human beings, it does not positively seek a plurality of religions; the claim that non-Christian religions are an evil by which God allows to achieve greater good; the claim that all religions are wanted by God’s Providence in what is true, good, and beautiful in them as the preparation for the salvation of man in the encounter with Christ. In the end, it discusses the idea of St. John Paul II, who, for several years before the creation of the Abu Dhabi declaration, combined this last idea with the work of the Holy Spirit.