How is Christian theology, as the self-understanding of the Christian life, to understand the world religions? How is it to understand them in relation to itself? In recent years Professor John Hick has proposed a pluralist paradigm of the world religions which would, if acceptable, answer these sort of questions. In this article we are going to consider the acceptability of Hick's paradigm to Christian theology. The question we want to put to it is simple: Will it do as a model for how Christian theology may begin to think its relation to the world religions?
Our discussion is in three parts. In the first part we present Hick's paradigm in, what we take to be, it's strongest form, defending it against certain criticisms. In the second part we consider its phenomenological foundations and the possibility of its judicious evaluation. Finally, in the third part, we offer a critique and come to a conclusion about it's acceptability to Christian theology. However, our answer is only a small contribution to a much larger task: ‘the theological understanding of non-Christian religions’.