More than We Already Know: Celebrating the Work of Interreligious Learning

Date(s) - 04/26/2023
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Religious diversity is often presented as a problem to be solved. Conversations about “the problem of religious diversity” are routine. Rev. Dr. John Thatamanil suggests that rendering the religious other as a problem is itself problematic. What if we instead perceived religious diversity as a promise to be received, rather than a problem to be solved? Just as in ecological thought, wherein diversity is a boon, rather than a bane, might religious diversity be framed as an intrinsic good? One way to do so is to say that we have more to learn, more than our tradition already knows, from our religious neighbors, precisely because they have different vocabularies, practices, and insights than we do. Moving toward the other in open-hearted receptivity is, therefore, simultaneously a move into deeper proximity to ultimacy. No movement towards the divine can exist without a commensurate movement toward one’s neighbor. Celebrating religious diversity thus represents not just an ethical good—but also a theological good.

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