Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The space of not-knowing

Stephen Prothero’s new book, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World—and Why Their Differences Matter, is a refreshing antidote to the too easy notion that all religions say the same thing. They don’t. Indeed, they are often mutually exclusive… I think the point of Dr. Prothero’s book is to challenge the cheap unity that passes for serious discussion of religion in the popular media…
Dialogue is the willingness to step out of what we know to meet one another in the space between, the space of not-knowing. This happens only when you are willing to be addressed by another, to be transformed by the other. If I leave a dialogue unchanged I never really entered into dialogue in the first place. If my encounter with other religions leaves my Judaism untouched, I never really encountered them. 
Dialogue rarely happens. Most people are too afraid of meet an other… Dr. Prothero doesn’t preclude this kind of transformative dialogue, he just insists that we don’t cheapen it. Posted by Rabbi Rami at 6:28 AM TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010]

Dialogue between the Heehs & Hartz and Pandey & Deshpande camps is possible if the willingness to be transformed is there. [TNM]

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