A Criticism of John Hick's Copernican Revolution

존 힉의 코페르니쿠스적 혁명 비평

  • Received : 2014.04.24
  • Accepted : 2014.07.23
  • Published : 2014.08.28


This is a study of Hick's self-described Christological 'Copernican revolution.' Since Hick as a former Christian theologian did not want to reject one of the core Christian doctrines(incarnation), he presented his copernican revolution in terms of Agape Christology, an inspiration Christology and myth Christology through his Christological reinterpretation. Thus Hick's Christologies that are developed gradually are discussed and evaluated chronologically. First, agape Christology understands that the incarnation is taking place all the time in different degrees everywhere. As a result agape Christology makes Jesus as a mere human being. Second, an paradox of grace or inspiration Christology views the incarnation as the Spirit of God enabling people to fulfill the will of God by their free responses. This Christology assumes that divine incarnation can occur anywhere and anytime in any person. Thus, according to this, Jesus is not literally God incarnate as Christian claims. Third, myth Christology views that the incarnation is not literal but mythological. Though he prefers to use metaphor in his later writings because it has a more positive connotation than myth, myth and metaphor have one thing in common: they are neither literal nor historical. Hick's mythological Christology implies the denial of Jesus Christ as God incarnate. Accordingly, the researcher must conclude that Hick's Christology as copernican revolution cannot said to be a perfect solution for today's religious situation, even though it was a sincere try to communicate with pluralistic world.


  1. Donald Baillie, God Was in Christ: An Essay on Incarnation and Atonement, New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1948.
  2. Paul Eddy, "John Hick and the Historical Jesus," In The Convergence of Theology, edited by Daniel Kendall and Stephen T. Davis. New York: Paulist Press, 2001.
  3. Paul Eddy, John Hick's Pluralist Philosophy of World Religions: An Exposition and Response, Ph.D. diss., Marquette University, 1999.
  4. Keith E. Eitel, "'The Way': Christ's Uniqueness and Its Bearing on Modern Missions," Criswell Theological Review 4, No.2, Spring, 1990.
  5. Chester Gillis, A Question of Final Belief: John Hick's Pluralistic Theory of Salvation, New York: St. Martin's: 1989.
  6. John Hick, "Christology at the Cross Roads," in Prospect for Theology, ed. F. G. Healey. London: James Nisbet, 1966.
  7. John Hick, Disputed Questions in Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.
  8. John Hick, The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm, Oxford: Oneworld, 1999.
  9. John Hick, God and the Universe of Faiths: Essays in Philosophy of Religion, New York: St. Martin's, 1973.
  10. John Hick, John Hick: An Autobiography, Oxford: Oneworld, 2002.
  11. John Hick, "Letters to the Editors: Incarnation," Theology 80, No.673, pp.204-206, January, 1977.
  12. John Hick, The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age, Louisville, TN: Westminster, 1993.
  13. John Hick, The Myth of God Incarnate, London: SCM, 1977.
  14. John Hick, "The Non-Absoluteness of Christianity," in The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Toward a Pluralistic Theology of Religions, ed. John Hick and Paul F. Knitter, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987.
  15. John Hick, "A Pluralist View," in More Than One Way?, ed. Dennis L. Okholm and Timothy R. Phillips. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.
  16. John Hick, "The Reconstruction of Christian Belief for Today and Tomorrow: 1," Theology Vol.73, No.603, pp.339-345, August, 1970.
  17. John Hick, "The Reconstruction of Christian Belief for Today and Tomorrow: 2," Theology Vol. 73, No. 603, pp. 399-405, September, 1970.
  18. John Hick, "A Remonstrance in Concluding," in Jesus in History and Myth, ed. by R. Joseph Hoffmann and Gerald A. Larue, New York: Prometheus Books, 1986.
  19. Clifford S. Hospital, "The Contribution of Keshub Chunder Sen toward a Global and Inductive Christology," Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol.19, No.1, pp.1-17, Winter, 1982.
  20. Geoffrey Lampe, God as Spirit: The Bampton Lectures, Oxford: Claredon Press, 1976.
  21. Terrence Merrigan, "The Image of the Word," in Newman and the Word, ed. Terrence Merrigan and Ian T. Ker, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000.
  22. Frank Whaling, ed., The World's Religious Traditions. New York: Crossroad, 1986.
  23. 이정배, "다원주의 기독론과 토착화신학: 근대이후시대에서의 토착화신학의 방향", 한국기독교논총, 제8권, pp.75-119, 1991.
  24. 제해종, "기독교적 관점에 따른 힉의 신중심적 종교다원주의 비평", 한국조직신학논총, 제34집, pp.153-181, 2012.