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Sociology of Religion: Inclusivists and Exclusivists

People have different beliefs in the wide variety of religious practices that currently exist. In each case, we have inclusivists who believe that other religions have some truths and learning which may be beneficial to everyone. From an exclusivist approach, the idea of acknowledging that other religions may have some truth is particularly problematic. An exclusivist Christian believes that anyone practicing any other religion cannot go to heaven because Jesus is the only way to eternal life. Similarly, ardent Muslims consider all Christians and other non-Muslims as infidels (non-believers who are destined to hell and eternal destruction) (Renan, 2016). The hard stance that exclusivists take limits their ability to have an objective approach to understanding other religious beliefs. For them, acknowledging the relevance and importance of some concepts and practices of other religious groups is equated to compromising on their own faith.

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They believe that a Christian acknowledging that some aspects of Buddhism may be important is unacceptable. They have the idea that in doing so, they will be validating all the religious practices of Buddhism, creating the perception that one can go to heaven even if they do not necessarily share the same religion. According to McCutcheon (2018), exclusivists also suffer from some form of religious rivalry, a problem that inclusivists have overcome. They believe that the world can be a better place if everyone shares the same religion. For them, anyone who rejects their religion is the enemy. It does not matter if some of their beliefs and practices are ethical and essential in promoting peaceful coexistence. As long as they belong to other religious groups, everything about them is unreligious.

References

McCutcheon, R. T. (2018). Studying religion: An introduction. Routledge.

Renan, J. E. (2016). The history of the origins of Christianity-book I: The life of Jesus. Lulu.com.

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StudyCorgi. "Sociology of Religion: Inclusivists and Exclusivists." June 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/sociology-of-religion-inclusivists-and-exclusivists/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Sociology of Religion: Inclusivists and Exclusivists." June 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/sociology-of-religion-inclusivists-and-exclusivists/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Sociology of Religion: Inclusivists and Exclusivists'. 27 June.

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