One of the most useful aspects of this book, which began as the 1994 Auburn lectures at Union Theological Seminary in New York, is Hick's discussion of the etiquette of controversy--an important subject at a time when controversy (theological, philosophical, and other) is often anything but constructive. The book begins with a careful restatement of Hick's pluralistic hypothesis and continues with four dialogues--two with a character named Phil, who articulates a series of philosophical criticisms, and two with a character named Grace, who articulates a series of theological criticisms. The book ends with a lyrical account of "a Christianity that sees itself as one true religion among others" and an excellent bibliography. This is an entertaining book, accessible to a wide variety of readers. It is suitable as an introduction to Hick's thought and the criticisms it has generated, but it is also a fine synthesis that will prove valuable to readers already familiar with his work. Steve Schroeder
John Hick is Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham in England. He is the author of a number of books, including A Christian Theology of Religions, Death and Eternal Life, and God Has Many Names , all of which are published by WJK.