RELIGIOUS PLURALISM: CHANGING PERSPECTIVES
Every religion has been under stress for some time, hard pressed by secular ideologies, which were first set in motion by the thinkers of the Enlightenment. Then came the fall of the Twin Towers. Unexpected disasters like that stir the religious instinct that seems to have gone dead in many contexts. The fact is that religion still moves millions. The present tragedy, however, is its instrumentalization for political purposes, often linked with violence. Hence, criticism purifies religion, and helps to make it more relevant, meaningful and socially committed. We cannot deny that religions have helped people of diverse cultures to come together in common loyalty. In the same way genuine religion should bring together people of different competences and convictions, both religious and secular. Differences can be transcended when partners really wish to help, complement and enrich each other. What has made a relaxed conversation between religions difficult in today’s world is that they have become greatly politicized. And yet, we belong to a world of continuous exchange of ideas and ideals; neither Hindus nor Muslims nor Christians need to feel embarrassed about their indebtedness to the other. A collective sense of responsibility must be roused in the followers of all faiths to address the shared anxieties of the day. The consequent cross-fertilization of ideas, convictions and disciplines will enrich every sector of humanity in view of a shared future.
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