John F. Kane

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Religious Studies


Ian G. Weeks


In simplest terms, this thesis is an analysis and critique of Karl Jaspers' discussion of one of the central problems facing contemporary religious thought -- the problem of religious truth as it arises within contemporary consciousness of religious pluralism. Specifically, it looks at Jaspers' affirmative answer to the question, "Can more than one religion be true?" and seeks to determine the adequacy of the idea of truth whereby Jaspers explains such a possibility. It is, then, an analysis of Jaspers' idea of "existential truth" or, more exactly, of his use of that idea in explaining religious truth in a situation of religious pluralism. While finding Jaspers' thought influential and important, the thesis concludes that it is finally inadequate, and develops a series of related criticisms explaining this inadequacy -- criticisms which simultaneously point toward other ways of approaching the question of religious truth which might be more adequate to the reality of religious pluralism.

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