We’re over halfway through the Plurality 2.0 series and it’s been really amazing to have such a “plurality” (sorry, couldn’t resist) of authors and voices on this important topic. Doug Pagitt mentioned in his video submission that at first he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the topic. He said it’s just sort of the situation we’re in – not a lot to discuss. Yet, I’ve seen some other comments here on Pomomusings and other places that cry “HERESY” that we would be discussing the issue pluralism in a positive light here.
Last Sunday churches around the world dedicated their worship to the celebration of our interfaith world on Pluralism Sunday. There was a listing of churches that celebrated Pluralism Sunday here and they also shared how they were going to celebrate. Our church didn’t do anything, but fellow Presbyterian minister John Shuck posted his sermon “One River, Many Wells” here. I’d encourage you to read his sermon – his two points were:
- We need inter-religious dialogue so we don’t kill each other, literally.
- We need inter-religious dialogue so we can gather what wisdom we can to create mythologies that the 21st century demands of us.
I know we could have arguments back and forth forever as to the exclusivity of Christ and whether there is any salvation apart from the Christian faith – but I would hope that we could agree with Rev. Shuck on these points. Clearly in a world where people seriously misunderstand each other when it comes to cultural and religious identities and beliefs (Barack Obama is a Muslim…? Really?) we need to strengthen opportunities for dialogue.
Clearly in a world where these serious misunderstandings have and will continue to lead to wars where innocent people die, we need to strengthen our knowledge and respect of other religions and other ways of interacting with the Divine.
I will write more on pluralism for the Plurality 2.0 series at the end, but in case you want to read a few past thoughts of mine on the topic, please check these out: