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The exclusivism is a model of religious theology , that is a form of theological evaluation of other religions . It describes the idea that one's own religion is the only true, correct or salvific one and that other religions or beliefs have no share in the truth or at least in truths that are decisive for salvation.

In Christianity

An example of this conviction is the teaching Extra ecclesiam nulla salus ( Extra ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the Church there is no salvation), which has prevailed for a long time in the Catholic Church . This position was relativized in the Catholic Church by the declaration Nostra Aetate issued by the Second Vatican Council , which reflects an inclusive position in relation to other religions. There, the other religions are met with great esteem by emphasizing that they do not reject anything “that is true and holy in these religions”. Nevertheless, according to the council, the fullness of salvation lies only in faith in Jesus Christ , who redeemed all people through his saving act:

“The Catholic Church does not reject anything that is true and holy in these religions. With sincere seriousness she looks at those ways of acting and living, those rules and doctrines, which indeed differ in some ways from what she herself considers and teaches to be true, but not infrequently reveal a ray of that truth that enlightens all people. Christ, who is 'the way, the truth and the life' (Jn 14: 6), in whom men find the fullness of religious life, in which God has reconciled everything to himself, incessantly proclaims them and must proclaim them. "

This inclusivism, which was a big step for the Catholic Church and encouraged interreligious dialogue, is viewed at least skeptically by those of other faiths and religious scholars or referred to as indirect exclusivism, insofar as it is a salvation-historical appropriation and the claim to universal validity is maintained. This claim, which is, however, represented by almost all religions, is a challenge for interreligious dialogue . The extent to which the emphasis on the uniqueness of one's own religion can overcome the claim to absoluteness and thus exclusivism and still have a justification for missionary-free universal validity is one of the many points of discussion in the pluralistic theologies of religion .

In Islam

In Islam , exclusivist conceptions have been developed primarily within the framework of the Kharijite and Wahhabi doctrine of loyalty and renunciation . The Wahhabis split into an exclusivist and an inclusiveist camp as early as the early 19th century. While the exclusivists viewed all non-Muslims and also those Muslims who did not follow their teachings as unbelievers and called for jihad against them, the inclusivists believed that the other Muslims only lived in sin so that it would not be necessary to oppose them fight. In the dispute between the two groups, the exclusivists proved stronger in the 19th century. At the turn of the century, exclusivist scholars were sent to the Bedouins of the Najd to encourage them to join the jihad. The result of their activity was the Ichwān movement on which King Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud relied in the expansion of the Saudi state. However, the increasing radicalism of this group forced the ruler in 1929 to take action against them with British help. The so-called Ichwān of Buraida and Sheikh Hamūd at-Tuwairiqī remained the last bastions of exclusivist Wahhabiism. However, their views were increasingly challenged in the 1970s in Saudi Arabia by the current of the Islamic Awakening ( aṣ-ṣaḥwa al-islāmīya ).

See also


  • Reinhold Bernhardt : End of the dialogue? The encounter of religions and their theological reflection . (Contributions to a Theology of Religions 2), Zurich 2006
  • John Hick et al .: Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World , Zondervan Pub. House: Grand Rapids, 1996, ISBN 0-310-21276-6 Adversarial treatment of exclusive, inclusive and pluralistic views.
  • Perry Schmidt-Leukel : God without limits. A Christian and pluralistic theology of religions , Gütersloh 2005

supporting documents

  1. Nostra Aetate No. 2, cit. according to: Karl Rahner, Herbert Vorgrimler: Small Council Compendium, Freiburg i. Br. 1966, p. 356
  2. Saskia Wendel : Beyond absoluteness and arbitrariness or: On the possibility of taking a Christian standpoint in pluralism. In: theophil-online.de ( Memento from February 12, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  3. See Stéphane Lacroix: Awakening Islam. The politics of religious dissent in contemporary Saudi Arabia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2011. pp. 12-13.
  4. See Lacroix: Awakening Islam. 2011, pp. 103-109.