Between Relativism and Fundamentalism: Religious Resources for a Middle Position

Our contemporary culture is dominated by two extremes — relativism and fundamentalism. Neither is desirable: relativism claims that all questions of truth are irrelevant, whereas fundamentalism insists on sole possession of absolute truth. Internationally renowned sociologist of religion Peter Berger has gathered a group of scholars to consider how, from out of different traditions, one can define a middle position between both extremes. / After an extensive introductory overview by Berger, three essays (“sociological descriptions”) give an objective picture of how relativism and fundamentalism play out in today’s world. In the second part (“theological directions”) authors from several different Christian traditions and one conservative Jewish tradition flesh out a normative middle ground that is neither relativist — they affirm specific truth claims — nor fundamentalist — their affirmations include tolerance of the claims of others.

Review & Commentary