Dianne L. Oliver leads us through the messy terrain of “truth-claims.” The framework she provides will help us consider how people prioritize certain understandings. In class we will take this to the next level to see the ways people prioritize certain people who share their beliefs.

Please define the following terms. Try to make sense of the terms in your own words as well as Oliver’s.

  • Truth-Claims
  • Enlightenment
  • Post-Enlightenment/Modernity
  • Postmodernity
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Exclusivism
  • Inclusivism
  • Relativism
  • Pluralism
  • Nihilism (p.49, you may also need a dictionary on this one)
Wooden letter blocks with "F," "A," and then the endings -KE and -CT, spelling fake and fact.

On page 51, Oliver suggests, “Studying religion requires us to engage our own views on the nature of truth and to consider ways to deal with diverse views of this truth.”While this engagement can manifest in myriad ways, here are some questions for your consideration:

(1) Oliver briefly mentions Nihilism alongside relativism (see page 49 for context) but does not really classify the philosophy in light of the categories of truth claims. How might you classify it? (75 words)

(2) It is common to describe the different truth-claim –isms on a spectrum. I want you to illustrate this in your notebook in a manner you see fit?

(3) Must one who studies religion fall somewhere along the spectrum? Are there any alternatives? What is to be gained or lost from relocating oneself on each of the places in the spectrum? (75 words)