Comprehension of an interfaith dialogue as well as its relevance is the first point that should be considered before answering the question.
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In understanding this, we will all be able to have a clue on what the topic of argument is all about. We will consider Buru Dede’s perspective as the leader of our discussion. According to Buru Dede, all the discussions whose major intention is to encourage joint considerate between two or more religions can only attain his intention by only tackling his or her own religion.
As long as we all concentrate on the scope of our spiritual mores, we will not be capable of articulating in a language that can be interpreted by the participants in our discussion. We are all obliged to reveal to the fullest the genuine theology only by exceeding the customary teachings and policies.
In this case, there will be higher chances of occurrence of an interfaith dialogue. For a victorious interfaith discussion, there must be an individuals tackling using his personal religious conviction. In addition to this, the participants’ religion should also be tackled. The interfaith discussion will thus be satisfactory and successful too. The joint disclosure of each person’s religion encourages mutual understanding among the participants.
To begin with Tom’s idea on the existence of the sharing of certain perspectives among both the Christians and the Buddhists, I think the outlook is true. Assuming that you all know Pope John Paul II, he was a great Christian who also took part in publishing work. During his ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope and His Holiness’ he emerged with some annotations on a Christian perspective.
As stated in (Cobb 50), The Holy Father reminded us all, that “what unites us is much greater than what separates us … It is necessary … to rid ourselves of stereotypes, of old habits and above all, it is necessary to recognize the unity that already exists.” This is acceptable too among the Buddhists.
Given that, you are well informed about the account of inter-religious discussions, I don’t intend to tire you by repeating its review. I think it is better to make ourselves remember certain aspects of the interreligious discussion. First the term ‘step back’ as it has been used in the context refers to reminding oneself the far one has gone some few decades back. A proof that identifies a Pope’s perspective is ‘unity that already exists’ is quite heartening.
While I was busy searching for some information on the guidelines when an individual is writing a dialogue in a WCCs booklet. The author to this book put up a suggestion as cited in (Sernett 27), “it is easy to discuss religions and even ideologies as though they existed in some realm of calm quite separate from the sharp divisions, conflicts and sufferings of humankind”.
Nearly all the Christians agree to this statement. However, the reverse is true to the Buddhists. The Buddhists claim that they could only agree to the statement if “religions and ideologies often contribute to the disruption of communities and the suffering of those whose community life is broken” (Sernett 27).
These differences in perspectives concerning religious doctrines have entrenched into other peoples activities. However, it is probable that individuals from the Buddhist will with time regret why they don’t do what is expected.
The Christians have a holy book that is written the Holy Father in which the features are given in some kind of sequence and also emphasizes on some topics which the Buddhist can find it rough on disagreeing. The book also has opinions on which the dialogue can proceed: “….there is basis for dialogue and for the growth of unity, a growth that should occur at the same rate at which we are able to overcome our divisions — divisions that to a great degree result from the idea that one can have a monopoly on truth (Smith 37).
However, the faith of the Buddhist does not correspond to the dialogue the way other religions do towards the dialogue. Buddhism is not a doctrine that has salvation. Buddhists were discouraged from blind fellowship in faith matters. He advised his followers to be listening to teachings keenly and assessing personally whether they are convinced if it is the truth or not.
I think Megan has a point. On building on it, I can say Buddha offers knowledge in academics as well as spiritually so that this proficiency can be applied in all fields of life both individually as well as in a group. In spite of the fact that most of the spiritual teachings offered are anticipated to be the same in other religions, it is extra ordinary in this case.
According to Buddha as cited in (Smith 37), “One is indeed, one’s own savior, for what other savior could there be? When one is in control of oneself, one obtains a savior difficult to find”. According to Buddhists perspective, one has to move into the spiritual world for his own benefit.
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We may also consider another aspect which is eclecticism. This may be viewed in two outcomes. Firstly, the dissimilarity between faiths should never be rejoined where it has ceased existing. The Pope in most books exemplifies the Buddhists attitude towards salvation as being completely negative.
The following is what he explains, “We do not free ourselves from evil through the good which comes from God; we liberate ourselves only through detachment from the world, which is bad.
The fullness of such a detachment is not union with God, but what is called nirvana, a state of perfect indifference with regard to the world. To save oneself means, above all, to free oneself from evil by becoming indifferent to the world, this is the source of evil. This is the culmination of the spiritual process.”
The Pope’s assurance is what unites all the people and its superior than what isolates people. This can help in creation of a strong foundation of faith in ones heart.
Buddhism is concerned with day to day sufferings that human beings experience. According to Buddha, “it is suffering I teach and the cessation of suffering”. Christians also talk about suffering. According to Pope’s perception, “The cross remains constant while the world turns.” Buddhist is only concerned amount the reality of evil and suffering.
I would like to complete by looking at the suggestion made towards Buddhism, “the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. The Church has a high regard for their conduct and way of life, for those precepts and doctrines which, although differing on many points from that which the Church believes and propounds, often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men”.
The Buddhist should thus be given a chance to be wished with a happy feast of Vesakh as we are not only taught to be tolerant but also to love one another.
Cobb, John. Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Buddhism and Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982. Print.
Sernett, Milton. “Religion and Group Identity: Believers as Behavers,” in Introduction to the Study of Religion. New York: Harper and Row, 1978. Print.
Smith, Huston. “Accents of the World’s Religions,”: Introduction to the Study of Religion. New York: Harper and Row, 1978. Print.