Question Number 1518:

Can I hold to the teachings of Perennialism (cf. Frithjof Schuon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Rene Guenon), claiming that all major religious traditions are salvific and be an Orthodox Christian simultaneously?


No. An Orthodox Christian, to be an Orthodox Christian, is required to believe that:

1. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. (cf. John 14:6) One can only find salvation in and through Him, or as St Peter teaches, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Salvation is by union with Christ. No other religion provides union with Christ and hence, no other religion is salvific apart from Christ Jesus.

2. Jesus Christ is present to us in His Body, the Church. One is united with Christ by participation in the sacramental and prayerful life of the Church which is a visible organism and community.

For those who are born and raised in other religions and who do not know Christ Jesus, salvation, if possible, would still have to be the gift of God and ultimately by being united to Christ Jesus.

Hope this helps.

Saint Justin the Philosopher Foundation for Orthodox Christian Apologetics

Answered on 5/28/2012 by Saint Justin the Philosopher Foundation for Orthodox Christian Apologetics

Find similar questions with the keywords: salvation apart from Christ, other religions


  • Valentin said on May 29, 2012:

    But I suppose an Orthodox Christian may be able to agree with many of their criticisms of modernity. Let's say their view is a pre-Christian one - Christians can agree with some things that our pagan ancestors saw as good in humanity and human tradition, but this view certainly ignores man's salvation in Christ.

    “we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” (1 Cor 1:23)

  • Nick Xylas said on July 7, 2012:

    The Orthodox Church, when evangelising new lands, has a long tradition of incorporating as much of the indigenous religion as possible into the Orthodox faith, so I don't think she can be accused of closing her mind to the idea that there can be much that is good in other religions. But these religions cannot be salvific, only Christ and His Church can do that.

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