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Dear friends of the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County,
Happy 2017 to you! Let me begin with a quote by the theologian Hans Küng:
“No peace among the nations
without peace among the religions.
No peace among the religions
without dialogue between the religions
No dialogue between the religions
without investigation of the foundation of the religions.”
That’s a pretty tall order, but I think it’s just what we in the interfaith world need to hear. What Küng seems to be saying is that we must first know ourselves and our own traditions. It doesn’t mean we have to abandon who we are and the cherished beliefs that we have grown up with.
But it does mean we cannot be satisfied with our own religions. It means that we must move beyond them, and learn about other people’s faiths. This often requires us to step out of our comfort zones, and to learn things that are hard, and different, and perhaps not always in agreement with our own deeply held beliefs.
But if we don’t do it, Küng is saying, there will be no peace. Let those of us who believe in interfaith activism be the first to call out our own traditions when they betray their deepest core, especially where the vulnerable of the earth are most exposed to hurt and deprivation.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. And with my religion, and with the religion of my neighbors.
Peace for 2107,
Charles R. Crawley
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