Beauty, Truth and Goodness: A Trinitarian Guess Applied to Religious Pluralism
This essay considers three absolute and irreducible ideals: Beauty, Truth and Goodness, and as such notes how each is a fundamental goal of human endeavor. Religions, it is argued, are expressions of the quest for these goals, and consequently we can compare religions not only as competing quests for Truth, but as different efforts to find Goodness and Beauty. For “religious pluralism,” the implication is that different religions might be irreconcilable as different truth-claims, but they may be seen as compatible avenues toward Goodness and Beauty, emphasized here as the moral and experiential sides of religion. Examples are considered of religious pluralists, like Knitter and Pannikar, who, respectively, approach religions from these two non-truth perspectives. The possibility of religious pluralism, then, is maintained in these areas, but it is a mistake to think that pluralism in the areas of Goodness or Beauty imply pluralism in Truth. Moreover, Truth is, perhaps unavoidably, an element in the quests for both Goodness and Beauty, and so the incompatibility of religions is, in a way, unavoidable. Finally, it is admitted that this whole discussion suggests a kind of trump card, namely the possibility of a Trinitarian model that would combine the searches for Beauty, Truth and Goodness as if the three were one.
For the whole essay, click on this link: On Religious Pluralism