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Exclusivism, as Gillis defines it, arrogantly elevates Christianity's claims avove those of other faiths and denies salvation to anyone who does not share these claims. It implies an objective quality to its claims by maintaining that Christianity is the only path to salvation. Inclusivism attempts to pull other faiths in under the "umbrella" of Christian salvation. It asserts that other faiths lead one to salvation in Christ by virtue of the fact that through these traditions, one implicitly seeks to affirm Christian grace and Christian salvation through Jesus Christ. Thus, inclusivism also does not allow for other salvations as the other traditions might choose to define them, but rather re-defines their salvation on their Christian terms. Gillis' book is outstanding in that in it, he considers these issues of inter-faith relations in a global community with a sensitivity not found in the exclusivist and inclusivist positions. Rather, he opts for pluralism, through which he states that in the contemporary, globally-interrelated state of religious affairs, it is no longer logical for any one faith to maintain that it can make claims upon absolute ultimate reality. Gillis' more circumspect position allows the various world faiths to exist on an equal ground, without the triumphalism which can at times infect religions' perspectives on other faiths. Pluralism affirms the equality of the major faith traditions' truth claims, and the equal possibility each holds for its particular vision of salvation or liberation. Pluralism, as Gillis defines and discusses it, remains the most tenable perspective from which to regard the relationship of "salvific parity" between faiths, as with the expansion of our knowledge of the diverse and complex religious universe, one no longer needs to believe that Christ is exclusively the sole way to any form of salvation or liberation.
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