Barcarolle No. 3 in G-flat Major, Op. 42

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The West does not possess a monopoly on Him. Before Him there is neither Jew, nor Greek, nor Indian. The God of justice and love of whom he testified is either truly our -- and that is for all of us "our" -- creator and redeemer or not the true God at all. There is a profounder difference than Radhakrishnan seems to be willing to admit between tribally or nationally bound Brahmanic Hinduism and the constitutionally universal message of Christ. But this is not the difference of the faith of one part of the world as over against that of another. Or is Radhakrishnan merely objecting to the methods by which Christianity so often has sought converts?

It could seem so; because he does not level as harsh a criticism against Buddhism, another universal faith, as he does against Christianity. After all, to find the truth in Christ and in his teachings need not prevent anyone from studying with profit and admiring the thought of the great Indian sages.

However, it is not necessarily in the realm of intellectual endeavor -- monumental though Hindu contributions in this field may be -- certainly not merely in this realm, that one would seek and find unexpected treasures. Here we feel that much that is admirable can be found in Medieval Hinduism alongside of other things which are gross and perhaps even repellent. The sincere and relentless effort to understand the religion of peoples different from our own is certainly highly desirable. Radhakrishnan himself is an eminent example of such endeavor. Yet we do not feel that it is all said with the simple formula: let us share.

The problem of validity and of truth has to be faced, as the author of East and West in Religion himself reminds us. We agree with him: "revelation is a universal gift, not a parochial possession. We feel that William Temple, who was a believer in universal revelation, made an admirable distinction in saying, "all therefore is alike revelation; but not all is equally revelatory of the divine character.


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Yet some of the more recent investigations in the field of New Testament exegesis and theology do not quite confirm the picture he draws of the "religion of Jesus. Of these, which for the Christian are of paramount importance as the incomparable instances of divine love and suffering, it cannot be said that they, as "the characteristics of intuitive realization, nondogmatic toleration, insistence on non-aggressive virtues and universalist ethics, mark Jesus out as a typical Eastern seer.

Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Crash Course World History #218

For the Christian the cardinal question remains: What do you think of Christ? It should be said in all fairness that a majority of Christians themselves do not see this vital point too clearly. In his chapter, "The Meeting of Religions," in Eastern Religions and Western Thought , Radhakrishnan remarks that "the man of faith, whether he is Hindu or Buddhist, Muslim or Christian, has certainty," but he adds: "yet there is a difference between the pairs. It does by no means follow that to accept Christ for what he claimed to be must lead to intolerance and to the persecution of others.

Radhakrishnan and the Comparative Study of Religion

Certainly, "no doctrine becomes sounder, no truth truer, because it takes the aid of force. It is in the concluding paragraphs of his chapter on "The Meeting of Religions" that Radhakrishnan invites Christians to cease propagating their faith.

Comparative Religion

It is not in defense of Barthian theology, therefore, or because we believe that "only one religion provides divine revelation and others have nothing of it," 28 or because we regard the Christian religion as unique, 29 that we hold that ours cannot be the way which this Indian scholar suggests. He cites with approval the example of the Syrian Christians in India -- as well as the Hindus, who are "opposed to proselytism.

This is not to advocate "religious imperialism. If the great religions continue to waste their energies in a fratricidal war instead of looking upon themselves as friendly partners in the supreme task of nourishing the spiritual life of mankind, the swift advance of secular humanism and moral materialism is assured. There is much more mutual contact, exploration, exchange, and understanding necessary among the sincere followers of all faiths than is now in evidence. We must, indeed, all recognize the insufficiency of our interpretation of the meaning of faith within our own religious community.

This has already been pointed out above. But a Christian would not be contributing his best, if he would not make manifest, in word and in deed, upon what spiritual food he feeds, where he has found the springs of hope, of joy, and of strength. Surely, he should expect the Hindu, the Buddhist, and the Moslem to do likewise. In this area grave errors and many sad mistakes of the past will have to be undone. It is when each believer opens himself completely that he witnesses most honestly. There is no more reason why an Easterner should not accept Christ as readily and as naturally as a Westerner.

Christ, the Buddha, Muhammad -- we are beginning to understand this better today than did the nineteenth century -- are universal options. It is wrong for a Hindu to say that these names stand for provincialism. The interpretation of their teaching or the failure to act in conformity with that teaching may often be provincial. It is wrong for a Westerner to say: because my forbears were Christians, I had better be one also. Modern determinism assumes many subtle forms: one is cultural determinism.

Many anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists -- even philosophers -- regard religion merely as an expression or a function of civilization. That means that I confess a religion because it happens to be the prevailing one in the culture or society to which I happen to belong. Should we not respect a Westerner who, out of conviction, turns Buddhist or Moslem higher than a soi-disant "Christian"? By: Elisabetta Porcu. Publication Date: 31 Aug Publication Date: 30 Sep By: Ahang Rabbani.

Editor s : Mu-chou Poo. Publication Date: 24 Jun By: Alan Williams.

Comparative Religion: Selected full-text books and articles

The Appropriation of Buddhism in the Contemporary West. By: Adrian Konik. Essays in Honour of Professor Garry W. Editor s : Carole Cusack and Christopher Hartney. Publication Date: 23 Nov Publication Date: 11 Jan Publication Date: 23 Aug By: Darby. Publication Date: 05 Oct By: Richard Fox. Publication Date: 17 Dec Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning.

The Hartford Sermon Notebook Transcribed, By: Andrew Mallory. Publication Date: 07 Feb By: Katell Berthelot. Editor s : Matthias Morgenstern. Publication Date: 11 Apr Editor s : Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee. Publication Date: 27 Jul Buddhism, Paganism, and Christianity.

By: Daniel Dubuisson. Publication Date: 20 Sep Gagauz Folk Religion in Discourse and Practice. By: James A. An Intrepid English Autodidact in Iraq. By: Jorunn Buckley.


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