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This ground-breaking book contains contributions from 12 different religious traditions: Hinduism, African Traditional Religion, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Unitarianism and Baha'i. Interfaith worship and prayer can be complex, but this book demonstrates that in a world of many cultures and religions, there is an urgent need for religions to come together with trust and communication, especially when there is a crisis. Full of insights and examples of practice, the book demonstrates how religions can be a powerful means of unity and compassion. The book opposes the 'clash of civilisations' model as a way of interpreting the world and promotes peace, hope, and the possibility of cooperation. Religious believers can be sincere and committed to their own faith, while recognising the need to stand firmly together with members of other religious traditions.
Kung joins with three esteemed colleagues to address the question: "Can we break through the barriers of noncommunication, fear, and mistrust that separate the followers of the world's great religions?" The authors analyze the main lines of approach taken by Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and give Christian responses to the values and challenges each tradition presents.
An honest discussion regarding how devout Christians should react to the academic evidence and genuine personal experience that other religious ways result in engaged, loving and moral lives. Does being "saved," by the Christian definition, require a faith in Jesus Christ - meaning the historical person - or rather is it only important that human beings life their lives in accordance to His teachings. This books argues that one can be committed to a savior of "some other name," and simultaneously be aligned with Christian theologically and commitment.
One of the world's foremost exponents of the "pluralist" position as the most adequate Christian theological account of religious diversity turns to a new and urgent issue facing the community of world religions. For Paul Knitter, the spectre of environmental and social injustice looms over any serious discussion of humankind's future. As urgent as it is to have peace among the world's believers to achieve peace among nations, it is urgent that these communities unite in understanding and defending of the earth. In One Earth Many Religions Knitter looks back at his own "dialogical odyssey" and forward to the way that interfaith encounters and dialogue must focus attention on new challenges. Nothing less than enlisting the commitment of the world's religions on the task of saving our common home will do. In making that case, Knitter makes clear the complex structurespolitical, economic, and social as well as religious - that face those who approach this task. While articulating a "this-worldly soteriology" necessary to overcome our eco-human plight, Knitter offers practical considerations on actions and projects that have and should have been undertaken to stem the tide of environmental and human suffering. The global crisis is both at the center of One Earth Many Religions and a test case for Knitter and others engaged in the dialogue of religions. Can religious differences concerning the nature of the transcendent themselves be transcended in order to promote eco-human well-being? The issue seems basic and clearif interreligious dialogue cannot effect such a change, then one must question whether religion is of any use whatsoever.
As spiritual paths, Zen and Christianity can learn from one another. In this book, Anglican priest and Zen teacher Christopher Collingwood sets out how Zen can return Christians to their roots with renewed energy, and allow others to consider Christianity in a new and more favourable light. For the many Christians searching for a greater depth of spirituality, Zen offers a way to achieve openness. Drawing on Zen experience and the teachings of Jesus as depicted in the gospels, Zen Wisdom for Christians enables Christians to explore avenues of thought and experience that are fresh and creative. Using examples of Zen koans and Zen readings of Christian texts, the author provides a radical reorientation of life - away from one based on self-centredness and the notion of a separate, isolated self, to a way that is inclusive and at one with all. Zen Wisdom for Christians proves that the practice of Zen can lead Christians towards deeper spirituality and enhance religious experience through mutual appreciation, in a way that is truly eye-opening and life-changing.
This title helps Jews understand Islam - a reasoned and candid view. Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims struggle to understand one another and know little about each other's traditions and beliefs.Firestone explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam, the complex history of Jihad, the legal and religious positions of Jews in the world of Islam, how various expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the range of Muslim views about Israel, and much more. He addresses these issues and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make sense to Jews.Exploring these subjects in today's vexed political climate is a delicate undertaking. Firestone draws on the research and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and other scholars, as well as his own considerable expertise in this field. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone provides many original sources in translation, as well as an appendix of additional key sources in context. Most importantly, this book is readable and reasoned, presenting to readers for the first time the complexity of Islam and its relationship toward Jews and Judaism.
Sunni and Shia in Iran, Iraq, or Syria. Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Afrikaners and black churches in South Africa. The rising tide of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across Europe. Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land. The fear of immigrants and those who are different. The surge of nationalism. Violence, religious violence, violence done in the name of religion. Religious violence must be understoodaits history, its relationship to sacred texts and communities, and its consequences. Religious violence must also be confronted. Another story must be told, a different story, a counternarrative other than the one that grips the world today. In Confronting Religious Violence , twelve international experts from a variety of theological, philosophical, and scientific fields address the issue of religious violence in today's world. The first part of the book focuses on the historical rise of religious conflict, beginning with the question of whether the New Testament leads to supersessionism, and looks at the growth of anti-Semitism in the later Roman Empire. The second part comprises field-report studies of xenophobia, radicalism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia surrounding the conflicts in the Middle East. The third part reflects on moral, philosophical, legal, and evolutionary influences on religious freedom and how they harm or help the advancement of peace. The final part of the volume turns to theological reflections, discussing monotheism, nationalism, the perpetuation of violence, the role of mercy laws and freedom in combating hate, and practical approaches to dealing with pluralism in theological education. Edited by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Richard Burridge, Confronting Religious Violence contains insights from international experts that form essential reading for politicians, diplomats, business leaders, academics, theologians, church and faith leaders, commentators, and military strategistsaanyone concerned with a harmonious future for human life together on this planet.
For more than a century Christian theologians have attempted to construct "theologies of religion" that would be recognized as authentically Christian and authentic in relation to the historical and social reality of many religions. This attempt usually ends in an impasse in which either only one religion is portrayed as holding the true path to salvation, or that many do. Neither the exclusivist nor the pluralist position is completely satisfactory in integrating the two goals of an authentically Christian and historically viable theology of religions. In calling this book Salvations author S. Mark Heim moves the theology of religions project beyond taking sides on exclusivist and pluralist views. The crux of his argument is this: that it makes more sense to speak of salvation in the plural, to maintain that the ends of various religions are indeed varied and significantly constituted by the paths taken to reach them. At the same time, all paths - Christianity included - can and must make or require exclusive commitments on the part of those that hold them. One of the most intriguing features of Salvations is its careful critique of the pluralist assumption of a single religious end to the many religions. Heim's careful analysis of the writings of John Hick, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, and Paul Knitter points out a central weakness in the pluralist argument: by insisting that different religions point to the same "ultimate, " pluralism fails its own test of plurality. Heim points out that exclusivists should note that in hypothesizing the many ends of different religions, Salvations contradicts neither the finality of Christ, nor the authentic, independent validity of other religions.
The challenge of Islam to America's Christian identity and the stark differences between Muslim and Western worldviews are exposed in this penetrating study by Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, a renowned expert on Islam. By exposing the plans of certain Muslim groups to Islamise the United States, he invites you to consider how deep their influence runs in contemporary American society. As Muslims become increasingly assertive and Islamism grows, the call is for Christian and secular leaders to respond.
The subject of religious diversity is of growing significance, with its associated problems of religious pluralism and inter-faith dialogue. Moreover, since the European Enlightenment, religions have had to face new, existential challenges. Is there a future for religions? How will they have to change? Can they co-exist peacefully? In this book, Keith Ward brings new insights to these questions. Applying historical and philosophical approaches, he explores how we can establish truth among so many diverse religions. He explains how religions have evolved over time and how they are reacting to the challenges posed by new scientific and moral beliefs. A celebration of the diversity in the world's religions, Ward's timely book also deals with the possibility and necessity of religious tolerance and co-existence.
There has been a disturbing rise in antisemitism in Europe over the last fifteen years or so, with violent attacks on Jewish targets, increased verbal antisemitism, and an acceptability in many circles of what would hitherto have been condemned as outrageous antisemitic discourse. More recently, the Labour party have come under fire for engaging in antisemitic abuse. Yet despite the dramatic increase in debate and discussion around antisemitism, there is a general sense of confusion about what should and shouldn't be defined as antisemitism - and particularly around criticism of the State of Israel. In this urgently needed book, Rabbi Julia Neuberger uses contemporary examples, along with historical context, to unpack what constitutes antisemitism, building a powerful argument for why it is so crucial that we come to a shared understanding now, and exploring ways of dealing with it.
Religion posits one characteristic as an absolute: faith. Compared to faith, all other social distinctions and sources of conflict are insignificant. The New Testament says: 'We are all equal in the sight of God'. To be sure, this equality applies only to those who acknowledge God's existence. What this means is that alongside the abolition of class and nation within the community of believers, religion introduces a new fundamental distinction into the world the distinction between the right kind of believers and the wrong kind. Thus overtly or tacitly, religion brings with it the demonization of believers in other faiths.
The central question that will decide the continued existence of humanity is this: How can we conceive of a type of inter-religious tolerance in which loving one's neighbor does not imply war to the death, a type of tolerance whose goal is not truth but peace?
Is what we are experiencing at present a regression of monotheistic religion to a polytheism of the religious spirit under the heading of 'a God of one's own'? In Western societies, where the autonomy of the individual has been internalized, individual human beings tend to feel increasingly at liberty to tell themselves little faith stories that fit their own lives to appoint 'Gods of their own'. However, this God oftheir own is no longer the one and only God who presides over salvation by seizing control of history and empowering his followers to be intolerant and use naked force.
The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present, Syriac Christians wrote the first and most extensive accounts of Islam, describing a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic. Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions between what eventually became the world's two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.
From the fall of Constantinople in 1453 until the eighteenth century, many Western European writers viewed the Ottoman Empire with almost obsessive interest. Typically they reacted to it with fear and distrust; and such feelings were reinforced by the deep hostility of Western Christendom towards Islam. Yet there was also much curiosity about the social and political system on which the huge power of the sultans was based. In the sixteenth century, especially, when Ottoman territorial expansion was rapid and Ottoman institutions seemed particularly robust, there was even open admiration. In this path-breaking book Noel Malcolm ranges through these vital centuries of East-West interaction, studying all the ways in which thinkers in the West interpreted the Ottoman Empire as a political phenomenon - and Islam as a political religion. Useful Enemies shows how the concept of 'oriental despotism' began as an attempt to turn the tables on a very positive analysis of Ottoman state power, and how, as it developed, it interacted with Western debates about monarchy and government. Noel Malcolm also shows how a negative portrayal of Islam as a religion devised for political purposes was assimilated by radical writers, who extended the criticism to all religions, including Christianity itself. Examining the works of many famous thinkers (including Machiavelli, Bodin, and Montesquieu) and many less well-known ones, Useful Enemies illuminates the long-term development of Western ideas about the Ottomans, and about Islam. Noel Malcolm shows how these ideas became intertwined with internal Western debates about power, religion, society, and war. Discussions of Islam and the Ottoman Empire were thus bound up with mainstream thinking in the West on a wide range of important topics. These Eastern enemies were not just there to be denounced. They were there to be made use of, in arguments which contributed significantly to the development of Western political thought.
Religious faith can often be a source of reassurance for individuals and families facing dementia, yet many faith leaders lack the know-how to adapt their ministries to help this group to draw comfort from their faith. Compiled by around 50 different authors, this collection represents diverse faith traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Native American, and how each tradition can offer support to people with dementia. Providing an understanding of the cognitive, communicative and physical abilities of people with dementia, it shows what chaplains, clergy and lay persons can do to engage with them through worship.
Eye-opening essays by Buddhist, Hindus, Jews, Muslims provide insights to how Christianity is viewed in their communities--and why.
In 1482, Abu Abdallah Muhammad XI became the twenty-third Muslim King of Granada. He would be the last. This is the first history of the ruler, known as Boabdil, whose disastrous reign and bitter defeat brought seven centuries of Moorish Spain to an end. It is an action-packed story of intrigue, treachery, cruelty, cunning, courtliness, bravery and tragedy.
Basing her vivid account on original documents and sources, Elizabeth Drayson traces the origins and development of Islamic Spain. She describes the thirteenth-century founding of the Nasrid dynasty, the cultured and stable society it created, and the feuding which threatened it and had all but destroyed it by 1482, when Boabdil seized the throne. The new Sultan faced betrayals by his family, factions in the Alhambra palace, and ever more powerful onslaughts from the forces of Ferdinand and Isabella, monarchs of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.
By stratagem, diplomacy, courage and strength of will Boabdil prolonged his reign for ten years, but he never had much chance of survival. In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella, magnificently attired in Moorish costume, entered Granada and took possession of the city. Boabdil went into exile. The Christian reconquest of Spain, that has reverberated so powerfully down the centuries, was complete.
Christians, Muslims and Jews all stem from one man, Abraham, and yet relations between them are so often strained. Three men of faith - one Jew, one Muslim and one Christian - debate the differences between them. The result is a compelling discussion: What do their faiths teach on the big issues of life? What can be done to make for better relationships in the future? What can be done on the big global areas of conflict and tension? How can they get along? For hundreds of years, many of the biggest global conflicts have been fuelled by religious hatred and prejudice. It is evident, in the early part of the 21st century that not much has changed. Whether it is fundamentalist Muslims waging jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or the perpetual low scale hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, to the man in the street, religion seems to make people more likely to fight each other, not less. Why is this? Why Can't They Get Along? is a powerful and much needed account. Current, passionate and compelling it is essential reading.
Under what conditions does in-group pride facilitate out-group tolerance? What are the causal linkages between intergroup tolerance and socialization in religious rituals? This book examines how Muslims from Russia's North Caucuses returned from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca both more devout as Muslims and more tolerant of out-groups. Drawing on prominent theories of identity and social capital, the authors resolve seeming contradictions between the two literatures by showing the effects of religious rituals that highlight within-group diversity at the same time that they affirm the group's common identity. This theory is then applied to explain why social integration of Muslim immigrants has been more successful in the USA than in Europe and how the largest Hispanic association in the US defied the clash of civilizations theory by promoting immigrants' integration into America's social mainstream. The book offers insights into Islam's role in society and politics and the interrelationships between religious faith, immigration and ethnic identity, and tolerance that will be relevant to both scholars and practitioners.
With globalization helping those who assert incompatible differences between their respective faiths, clashes of faith are increasingly common in different parts of the world. As a result, the study of religious conflict is also increasing. This book reverses that perspective by addressing a case of peaceful religious coexistence and social cohesion, namely in the South Indian village of Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) in Tamil Nadu. The birthplace of the Lutheran mission to India in 1706, this former Danish colonial settlement is now a famous heritage site. Although badly hit by the 2004 tsunami and today numerically dominated by members of a Hindu fishermen's caste, so far the town has managed to steer clear of the kind of religious conflicts too often found in a number of states in present-day India, including Tamil Nadu. This in-depth study, based on post-tsunami field studies in 2006 and 2007, examines the ways in which Hindus, Muslims and different Christian denominations interact in their day-to-day lives. Further, it demonstrates that the role played by religion - as far as social cohesion is concerned - is invariably tied up with several other factors (social stratification, economic development, educational institutions and such social communities as caste councils, etc.) and may serve as a basis for unity as well as division.
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has promoted a Shi'a Islamic identity aimed at transcending ethnic and national boundaries. During the same period, Iran's Armenian community, once a prominent Christian minority in Tehran, has declined by more than eighty percent. Although the Armenian community is recognised by the constitution and granted specific privileges under Iranian law, they do not share equal rights with their Shi'i Muslim compatriots. Drawing upon interviews conducted with members of the Armenian community and using sources in both Persian and Armenian languages, this book questions whether the Islamic Republic has failed or succeeded in fostering a cohesive identity which enables non-Muslims to feel a sense of belonging in this Islamic Republic. As state identities are also often key in exacerbating ethnic conflict, this book probes into the potential cleavage points for future social conflict in Iran.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are usually treated as autonomous religions, but in fact across the long course of their histories the three religions have developed in interaction with one another. In Neighboring Faiths, David Nirenberg examines how Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived with and thought about each other during the Middle Ages and what the medieval past can tell us about how they do so today. There have been countless scripture-based studies of the three "religions of the book," but Nirenberg goes beyond those to pay close attention to how the three religious neighbors loved, tolerated, massacred, and expelled each other--all in the name of God--in periods and places both long ago and far away. Nirenberg argues that the three religions need to be studied in terms of how each affected the development of the others over time, their proximity of religious and philosophical thought as well as their overlapping geographies, and how the three "neighbors" define--and continue to define--themselves and their place in terms of one another. From dangerous attractions leading to interfaith marriage; to interreligious conflicts leading to segregation, violence, and sometimes extermination; to strategies for bridging the interfaith gap through language, vocabulary, and poetry, Nirenberg aims to understand the intertwined past of the three faiths as a way for their heirs to produce the future--together.
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