Quote of the Week – extreme reactions not the right course

Oct 25, 2008 Published under Favorite Quotes, PeaceWorks Foundation, Religion

Some powerful precepts from a conversation I had with Chief Rabbi David Rosen, President of the ICJRC and the pre-eminent leader in relations between different faiths:

There is a lot that divides us [of different faiths], but more which unites us [as human beings with a shared destiny].

If we affirm an omnipresent deity that relates to us in all our diversity, then there must be diverse ways of relating to God.

The idea that you can encapsulate the divine within one religious tradition, or that any tradition should have a totality of the truth about the divine, should be absurd.

Not all religious figures agree.  Some insist they have a duty to try to convert you, like an early encounter that Chief Rabbi Rosen had when he was the Chief Rabbi in South Africa.  South African Dutch Reform Church Minister (Doeminee) reacted with disagreement to the above precepts, ardently insisting, "No, it is my role and duty to convert you in order to save you."  To me, this encapsulates the opportunity and challenge that organized religion has for society.

Another important religious precept from the conversation with Rabbi Rosen:

‘be wary of responding to an extreme action with an extreme reaction.’

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