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Saving FaithMaking Religious Pluralism an American Value at the Dawn of the Secular Age$
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David Mislin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453946

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453946.001.0001

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Correcting Elijah’s Mistake

Correcting Elijah’s Mistake

The Liberal Protestant Embrace of Comparative Religion

(p.40) 2 Correcting Elijah’s Mistake
Saving Faith

David Mislin

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the popularity of spiritual exploration and religious comparison that flourished in the late nineteenth century. By utilizing the model of revelation as a gradual, unfolding process, liberal Protestants not only recognized non-Christian traditions as valid religions, but they also reformed these belief systems as evidence of the superior truth found in Christian teaching. This new perspective encouraged widespread interest in comparative religious study, as evident during the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions. Interpretations of the Parliament's lessons were nearly as diverse as were the participants. However, the seeming disarray of messages from participants has led many scholars to interpret the Parliament of Religions as a confused effort that reflected broader cultural uncertainty about religious pluralism.

Keywords:   spiritual exploration, religious pluralism, revelation, Christian teaching, non-Christian traditions, liberal Protestants, 1893 World's Parliament of Religions

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