Religious Double Citizenship
Published on: February 2, 2011
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  • I’m curious to see how Miroslav Volf handles his contention of the compatibility of Christianity and Islam in his book coming out this month. If the phenomena we call “religions” can be abstracted to sets of beliefs, or maybe practices, shared “commitment” might be possible. But since these phenomena are embodied diachronically in traditions and synchronically in communities, I have trouble conceiving what such “double citizenship” might look like.

  • Cliffdweller

    According to Volf’s publisher, he argues that “A person can be both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice.”

    A neat trick, if he can pull it off.

  • I totally disagree that the God of Christianity and the God of Islam are the same God: The God of Islam allows and rewards the killing of apostates while the God of Christianity says nothing about heretics or apostates but gives its response to them in the words of the Gospel “shake the dust of their village out of your sandals and go on your way”.

  • jbay

    I think your analysis is incomplete. You’re looking at each of the mentioned religions as if they’ve had static beliefs. A simple gloss through history will show that beliefs within each tradition change constantly. If you’d like to see just how closely they’re all related read about all the appending movements that have occurred along the way.

    Read about Sun Wakung, Hanuman and how they relate to Adam and Eve. Look at Manichaeism, Dionysus, Zoroaster, Gnostics, Druze, etc.. Read about Avalokiteśvara, The Titans, Asuras and look at how they’re all related. Finally ask any one of the groups to rank in importance each law. The odds are you’ll get the following list.

    Don’t worship anything but the One God.
    Don’t say bad things about God.
    Don’t kill.
    Don’t steal.
    Don’t commit sexual crimes.
    Don’t be cruel to living creatures.
    Uphold laws that are just and righteous.

    Everyone Person I’ve ever talked to can be boil their laws down to: “That which is hurtful to you do not do to your neighbor. The rest is commentary.”

  • Jim.

    “I am of the opinion that inclusivism has the best chance of avoiding both closed-minded fanaticism and self-liquidating relativism.”

    And how’s that working out for British-based Anglicanism, then?

    There is nothing wrong with having confidence in the Gospel of Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by Christ — so long as adherents remember to work not only for Christian ends, but to use Christian *means* as well.

  • N.P.

    Islam, Judaism, and Christianity each officially claim to be the unique true religion. According to what I have heard, this is not true of Shinto and maybe not of at least some forms of Buddhism. I have the impression that many Japanese are, in effect, both Shinto and Buddhist.

  • Your entire understanding, as you render both your quotes and your original thoughts, is based in linear thinking and either too broad generalities, or too narrowly defined context. You are speaking of St. Paul, not, of Paul/Saul the inter-testamental figure who together with the Jesus followers (of the Way) continued to observe and identify with their Judaism, regardless of what others around them, believed them to be. You do both Jews and Christians a grave disservice, by relegating faith traditions that have for centuries had mystical traditions allowing for multi-dimensional understanding of both the Messianic Hope, and Messianic Redemption.
    For 5772 years we have spoken to layers of meaning in theology and in the Torah (and for Christians the cannon of Scripture) as Revealed. I hardly think, sociology is going to distill such myriad depth and diversity as neatly and utilitarianly as your post/article would seem to attempt.

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