• Precious Nihorowa Tangaza University College, Kenya


Dialogue and Proclamation, Ecclesiam Suam, Francis Arinze, Interreligious Dialogue, Peter Phan, Pope Paul VI, Unique Saviour


In recent years, interreligious dialogue has been a burning topic among theologians across the religious divide. With the rise and influence of globalization and migration, the world is becoming more and more a global village and experiencing a growing need for interaction and unity. Efforts to attain such unity have been evident in all spheres and sectors of life resulting into formation of organizations and unions to facilitate the same. In the religious circles, there have also been similar efforts. The Second Vatican Council is a good example and perhaps a notable fountain of other efforts that the Church has made towards achieving fruitful dialogue with other religions. However, every time believers of different religions meet for a roundtable discussion to engage in dialogue, one of the apparent obstacles has been the claim to uniqueness and universality on the part of each of the parties. Thus, each of the parties has been setting forth the founders of their religions as a no-go zone for interreligious dialogue. This entails that the dialogue begins from such a claim as a condition. With the aid of some selected theologians and the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam and other Church documents, this article examines the concept of uniqueness and universality in interreligious dialogue. It argues that in as much as such a concept is viewed as an obstacle, there is a sense in which it can lay a good foundation for fruitful interreligious dialogue.

Author Biography

Precious Nihorowa, Tangaza University College, Kenya

Precious Nihorowa, CSSp is a Malawian by nationality and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans). He is currently a student of theology at Tangaza University College in Kenya. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Malawi. He has published a book chapter and several scholarly articles in journals such as Hekima Review, Chiedza, Journal of Philosophy and Dare, Journal of Theology. He has also published several articles in magazines, newspapers and newsletters.


Francis Arinze, Meeting Other Believers, Herefordshire: Fowler Wright Books, 1997, 1.

John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990), Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1991.

Joseph Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Trans Henry Taylor, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003, 9

Paul Hedges, Controversies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Theology of Religions, London: SCM Press, 2010, 256.

Paul J. Griffiths, “The Uniqueness of Christian Doctrine Defended,” in Christian Uniqueness Reconsidered: The Myth of a Pluralistic Theology of Religions, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1990, 159.

Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, An Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World (8 December 1975), Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1975.

Peter C. Phan, Being Religious Interreligiously, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2004, 85.

Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Dialogue and Proclamation: Reflection and Orientations on Interreligious Dialogue and the Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1991.

Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio, ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en. html 4Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, An Encyclical on the Church (6 August 1964), Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1964.




How to Cite

Nihorowa, P. . (2019). THE CLAIM TO UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY IN THE CONTEXT OF INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. Asian Horizons, 13(04), 543–556. Retrieved from