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Interfaith Coexistence...Is It Even Possible?

INTERFAITH? Coexistence? Is it possible?

I love the following words by John S. Spong regarding interfaith coexistence: "...the God experience may well be ultimate, but the religious system through which we walk into the God experience can never be."

"Then beyond the boundaries and the limits of the faith system that has nurtured each of us, but without sacrificing the pearl of great price that our own tradition has given us, we can turn and face in a new way our brothers and sisters who have walked a path different from our own. In that setting I can speak to them and say: “This is the essence of my faith. This is the treasure that I have received as I walked the Christ path and now I want to share this treasure with you.”

"Each of my interfaith pilgrims will in turn do the same. They will say to me: “This is the essence of Judaism, of Islam, of Hinduism, of Buddhism. This is the treasure, the pearl of great price that I have received by walking faithfully and deeply the path of my religion and I want to share it with you.”

"We each receive the treasure of the other. No one has to sacrifice the treasure of the system which has nurtured him or her. We all become enriched. We no longer have to protect our truth or play the familiar religious games of supremacy that we have so often played in the past. No one loses, everyone gains."

The opposite of this approach to interfaith coexistence? It seems to me it may well be genocide.

"No religion is therefore ultimate." It could only ever be ultimate in my narrow, little mind. "God is and God is met on many paths and our call is to walk our path faithfully. In that realization, the beauty of an interfaith future is born." (JSS)


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