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Biblical Foundations of WCC-led Inter-faith Dialogue and Religious Inclusivism: A Study of Abraham’s Progressive Understandings of God

Hae Kwon Kim 1

1숭실대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The present essay explores how Abraham’s understandings of God El Shadday were enriched and made adjustable as he interacted with Canaan’s indigenous peoples on various occasions. The purpose of this study is first to show to what extent justifiable WCC-led inter-faith dialogue and its religious inclusivism may be and to point out their limitation. To this end, the present essay engages Lee Hyungki an ardent advocator of WCC's inter-faith dialogue and his vehement opponent, Choi Duck Sung in debate. The present essay is inclined to take side with Lee Hungki when he argues for WCC-led inter-religious dialogue and mutual learning policy, based on two grounds: A case of Abraham's progressive understandings of God clearly shown in the Book of Genesis and the Possibility of God's being known to other peoples and civilizations than Israel via Natural Revelation. The thesis of the present article is that Abraham’s religion grew much mature and was enriched in the course of his multi-faceted contacts and interactions with several indigenous peoples of Canaan. Genesis 12- 25 present at least four scenes in which Abraham enriched his previous knowledge of God, widened, and deepened his earlier understandings of God when he meaningfully encountered Canaanite peoples such as Mamre, Melchizedek, Beershebaean Canaanites, and the God of the Moriah mount. In each encounter with Canaanite names of God, Abraham gained a more mature understanding of God. The four scenes of Abraham’s renewed understanding of God shed some positive light on the WCC-led inter-faith dialogue for making a Christian understanding of God more mature and balanced. Furthermore, the present essay provides a concise overview of major biblical attestations saying that non-Israelite peoples may be enabled to gain a certain understanding of God, the God of Israel via Natural Revelation. Based on the foregoing discussion, the present essay concludes that a close exploration of Abraham’s progressive understandings of God justifies the WCC-led inter-faith dialogue and mutual enrichment program via inter-religious contacts and interactions.

Citation status

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