John Hick’s Religious Pluralism in Global Perspective is edited by Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah, an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Birmingham and former student of John Hick. The book brings together a range of essays from Western, African, and Eastern perspectives on Hick’s philosophy of religious pluralism.
Born in 1922 in the seaside town of Scarborough, the eventful life of John Hick saw him serve with the Friends Ambulance Unit in World War II as a conscientious objector. He became an ordained Presbyterian minister and during his life faced two heresy trials.
Hick was also the target of death threats because of his anti-racist campaigning in Birmingham and achieved worldwide fame in academic circles as a theologian and philosopher of religion, thanks to his work on religious pluralism.
He passed away in Birmingham in 2012 having lived in the city and taught at the University of Birmingham for many years. Hick was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University shortly before his death.
His ideas on religious pluralism and life after death form part of the theology and religious studies curriculum in British schools at A-Level and GCSE. Hick’s anti-racism and anti-fascism campaigning in the 1970s led to the creation of the All Faiths for One Race group.
I am delighted to be able to share this essay collection with the wider world and show how 100 years on from his birth, John Hick’s work and legacy is just as relevant and important today as it ever was. Hick was, and always will be, an incredible voice for reason, peace, diversity, and dialogue.
Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah, University of Birmingham
Clare Short, a former government minister and MP for Birmingham Ladywood said: “John Hick was a scholar, an anti-racism activist, and a passionate supporter of interfaith respect and mutual learning. He was also a delightful friend and a special man.”
Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah said: “Few academic philosophers and theologians can claim to have had the impact that John Hick has had, not only in academia, but in society more generally.
“John Hick’s advocacy of religious pluralism was grounded in practical realities. In him, we find a rare combination of profound scholarship and humanity. Whether one welcomes or critiques Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis, one cannot but be deeply touched by his own journey to a pluralistic vision which continues to be hugely relevant in a world torn apart by various kinds of absolutisms.
“I am delighted to be able to share this essay collection with the wider world and show how 100 years on from his birth, John Hick’s work and legacy is just as relevant and important today as it ever was. Hick was, and always will be, an incredible voice for reason, peace, diversity, and dialogue.”