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Religious Pluralism

Religious Pluralism is God's Will

Religious Pluralism is God's Will

by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Most college students have at one time or another asked, ‘If there is only one God why are there so many religions?’ This is a good question that I as a Rabbi have often been asked.This is my answer. The Qur’an declares that Allah could have made all of us monotheists, a single religious community, but didn’t in order to test our commitment to the religion that each of us have been given by God.

Sri Ramakrishna: A Profile

Except for students of Hinduism, Sri Ramakrishna is a largely unknown figure in the West. Yet his teaching and influence have helped shape the global interfaith movement. His vision, if not his name, came to Europe and America through his student and devotee, Swami Vivekananda, whose electrifying contributions at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions are invoked as the beginning of the interfaith movement. Marcus Braybrooke’s profile is so carefully researched that TIO is breaking its long habit of not using footnotes. For those who want to study Ramakrishna, they point the way.

Unpacking Pluralism

“Remember that words have usage, not meaning.” This off-the-cuff remark from Dr. Frank Stagg in a seminary classroom more than thirty years ago has repeatedly helped to clarify my thinking. I might modify the statement, saying that “words have usage, not inherent meaning” or “the meaning of a word is shaped by usage and context.” But the point is, nonetheless, well-taken. Words have usage, not meaning.

Philadelphia’s Dare to Understand Campaign

Last September a group known as the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) asked to purchase advertising space on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) as part of a larger anti-Islam campaign that AFDI has pursued in transit systems in several major cities across the country. We recently wrote about responses to this in California through street and bus art. Although SEPTA declined to run the ads due to their inflammatory anti-Islamic content, a federal judge granted AFDI’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The ads ran for four weeks, beginning on April 1, 2015, on 84 SEPTA buses.

International Interfaith Festival in Guadalajara, May 3-9, 2015

As excitement builds for the Parliament of the World’s Religions next year in Salt Lake City (October 15-19), a second major international interfaith gathering has been announced, this one in Guadalajara, Mexico, set for May 3-9, 2015.

Never Wholly Other

As a theologian exploring the topic of religious pluralism, I am fascinated by the manner in which we encounter different religious traditions and people. Do we embrace encounters that cross boundaries and engage difference? Are we tolerant of ‘others’ and of difference? How are our interreligious (and even intrareligious) interactions shaped by our theologies, and vice versa?

From Bozeman, Montana, to the World

An Interview with Diana Eck – Part 1

Principled Pluralism and the Inclusive America Project

Next Religions for Peace USA Webinar

The Genesis of International Interfaith Organizing

The International Association for Religious Freedom – a Profile<

Mainstreaming Hindu and Dharmic Americans and Values

What a year! 2012...

Interfaith Immersion in the Big Apple

Faith House Manhattan, where I serve as executive director, has announced a new turn in our work, a development I believe will be the catalyst for similar programs elsewhere. But first let me share the journey that led to this latest experiment with experiential interfaith work.

Sacred Ground by Eboo Patel: A Review

With Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, Eboo Patel establishes himself as the preeminent voice of the interfaith movement. The book is about the “promise of American pluralism,” because, “Simply put, it is people who have protected the promise of pluralism from the poison of prejudice.” Patel unabashedly notes that “the main character” in this book “is the one I love the most – America.”

Pluralism - A Home For All Of Us

When non-Christian religious leaders around the world were invited to attend the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, the letter asked them to come and share the wisdom of their traditions. It also promised that at the Parliament they would be able to perfect that wisdom through Jesus Christ. As the 20th century approached, in other words, the most open, liberal, progressive people of faith in America shared the assumption that their tradition was the truest and most important. Historically, the Catholic doctrine of “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus,” or “outside the Church there is no salvation,” makes the point categorically. But Catholics have had no corner on the notion that salvation is exclusively theirs, a claim ripe for setting people of faith and practice against each other.

Looking Back to Light Our Future

While a worldwide interfaith movement blossoms, looking back through history to discover glimpses of hospitable multi-religious interaction is instructive. Though few in number, ancient and medieval glimpses can be found of communities that embraced cooperative interreligious relations.

A TIO Interview with Marcus Braybrooke

TIO: When you first became involved in interfaith activities, few if any discerned how several decades of globalization would put religious diversity issues, for good and for ill, center stage in millions of communities. As a preeminent historian of this transformation and its best fruit, the interfaith movement, please share with us how you were drawn to this arena.