A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pluralism pt1

This portrait of Jesus is from the BBC. It makes Jesus a bit less Anglo and a bit more connected to first century Palestine. Theologically I try to parse this out in my Jewish Christian dialogue course concluding:

To critique and to seek to undo the damaging stories we Christians tell about our neighbors (ones which find their origins in the NT) would call for a fundamental recasting of the Christian story. We would need to have a much more expansive vision of God’s revelatory activity.

Such revelatory acts would be seen ever present and at work not just in the life of the church and in Jesus but in Judaism too, both then and now. So we ought not to be worried (or surprised) if Jesus echoes themes that place him within Judaism and the hellenized world.

God’s revelation should be seen as being found within Judaism and in other religious and secular contexts. Whatever is to be cherished in the story of Jesus and Christianity, can be cherished for what God has done in it, without limiting what God does in other stories and communities.

I also wonder if there isn’t a handicap when it comes to how we've spoken of Jesus. The early church, cutting up Jesus determining what ratio was human and divine, Jesus as the God-man and Jesus as moral exemplar carry a sense of Jesus apart from history and his context.

Is there a way to see the incarnation as a total complex historical event, which includes Jesus but also all the people, ideas, institutions, he touched (and was touched by)?

As Henry Nelson Wieman wrote, “The creative transformative power was not the man Jesus, although it could not have occurred apart from him. Rather he was in it…It required the Hebrew heritage, the disciples...and doubtless much else of which we have little knowledge.”

So the focus is on the God of Jesus and God’s reconciling activity, as found in people, traditions, communities, (including those that helped shaped Jesus, founded the church as well as those in very different contexts) that proves to be liberating and transformative.


At 6:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:05 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...


Sayed Shamsu Nazar Fatimi

God, the God of Semitic religions, Islam, Chrisyianity and Judiasm is the SOFT WARE of the microcosm, macrocosm and the entire existence. The VIRUS of SATAN and Belzebib always try to disrupt the relation and connections between the creator and creatures Even the Adam and its soul. Ms Karen Armstrang and Mr. Donald Walsche in their high sublimity of consciousness very elaborately presented the idea.

They have played the ROLE to reconnect man with his primitive source of creation and inspiration. The Christ and His Brother Muhammad of Arabia in their revelation and wisdom had cemented and developed this connectivity. The Quran specially Verse Devotion (Ikhlas) very clearly pictured God to be easily understandable and imagineable.

Abdullah Yousaf Ali in his explanation of Quran has developed such a curriculum that man can realize himself going with God hand in hand and directly feels inspiration of HIGH COMPANION.
Rumi the saint of Islam made possible to dialogue with GOD, and to make connection with HIM. I have practiced it and recieved inspiring and awe striking result. Every person can connect himself with GOD with certain ESOTERIC concentration, Devotion and meditation DIRECTLY.

for contact and feed back: ssfatimi@gmail.com
Sayed Shamsu Nazar fatimi
Chitral (Pak)

At 11:22 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

QuRanic definition of PluRalism

The entire universe is based on singularity and unity because it is generated, developed, transformed and subtly monitored by , what we call “Allah” or God. What is said and transmitted in Holy Tradition (Hadeeth),”all the creatures/created are the family of God”. ٰIn the QurAan it is expounded that all the humanity have sprung from a single cell (Adam), and the entire macrocosm generated from a single existence extracted from nothingness, “Rataq” , so the entire universe whether it is micro or macrocosm is interlinked, , interactive, coherent and interdependent, and one body or the other cannot be existed alone without the factors and forces interacted in the environment. No one is alone in the sphere of the existence except God Himself. So the QurAanic definition of pluralism may or should be;
“The philosophy, Idea and Concept that works in the Nature both in Human and Cosmic World, Internal or External, Spiritual or Material binding together the human beings, its interests, development, relations and mutual co-existence is called PluRalism”.
We can further simplify the definition as. “The idea, concept, philosophy and outlook, that take the humanity and life in holistic, developing tolerance, acceptance and harmony in atomistic, mosaic, diverse and conflicting society and environment is understood as Pluralism.”
The above QurAanic definition of pluralism embodies not only human civilization but even the natural world and external phenomena. Quranic definition of PluRalism is more philosophic, scientific, rational, intellectualistic and philosophical. It is as the nature itself has defined it.

At 11:26 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

Sayed Shamsu Nazar Fatimi Assitant professor GPGC Chitral ssfatimi@gmail.com

PluRalism in QurAnic Perspective
Pluralism cannot be defined unanimously. It is not a religious term. Nor it is an organization. It is a political term and social philosophy. I could not find and agree any of the unanimous definition of pluralism. It is also not antonym of individualism. It is concepts in which diversity of racial or religious or ethnic or cultural groups are peacefully interact, co-exist or tolerated. It is also believed to be a doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances, elements and consistencies. Being a Muslim I define it in the Quranic and cosmological perspective.

At 11:30 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

Cultural Imperialism
In recent Intellectual and Political Developments it is being defined in political, strategical and cultural orientation and manipulation in view. Its political manifestation is taken in suspicion, as cultural imperialism and expansionism to subdue the rival cultures and subcultures. Recent Media (both print and electronic) crusading exoterised the idea of pluralism interpreted and enforced through political and intellectual re-enforcement, diplomacy and coercion. (Huntington -1993, Fukoyama- 1990). Cultural imperialism is part of political imperialism and colonialism. We should not intermingle pluralism as we support it in our Muslim outlook and spiritual and Cosmological milieu in the light of Holy Scriptures i.e. Torah, Injil and Holy Quran. Islam has no intention to develop its own imperialism vs. other imperialism nor has it done in the past. (H.G Wells- Jews of Islam). What the so called Taliban are doing now and what selected precedences interpreted in the past not necessarily portray the QuRanic concept. Muslim traditional outlook cannot be attributed to QuRanic concept of politics and civilization, as the present Euro-American developments cannot be accredited to Christianity. Even in the Muslim intellectualism Christianity not attributable to the Jesus (A.S). These all are post Jesus development and innovations by the Saul (Paul) and his compeers. Taliban are the product of new Euro-American imperialism keeping in front Saudi Arabia and Pakistani agencies. (Ron Mc Mullen, December 5, 1994- Barbara Elias- August 14, 2007- Julian Borger The Guardian (UK) August 16, 2007).
Pluralism and sweet illusion
Is pluralism is a sweet illusion? In the past historical perspective and in the current political scenario, yes! it seems an illusion and mirage. What to talk of pluralism even the simple basic need of humanity that is water, food, life saving medicine, and shelter not only not provided but often taken away from them because of political ambitions. In this perspective pluralism is a term rhetorically used and interpreted in academies, institutions and intellectual circles. But we should not feel disappointment. We still have a source of hope, aspiration and wisdom, and that is QuRanic concept of PluRalism, the real, natural. practicable, and acceptable concept of mutual co-existence. We can better develop our mind set and out look by studying Quran setting aside old prejudices and traditional self presumed fallible biases. Western intellectuals are in better position to re-read the Holy Scripture objectively. They will find QuRan in consonance of their aspirations, philosophy and science.
Pluralism and Utopia
We have accustomed of faulty prejudiced and traditional criteria of accepting and rejecting certain things. Often our criterion is not based on sound objective, positive, creative and constructive concept of life and the creation determing human role individually and collectively. In this and on the perspective mentioned above the concept of pluralism is merely a utopia as of Thomas Moore’s imaginary Iceland. QuRan should be re-studied in this perspective and thus we will reach an amazing end and conclusion. We will find that pluralism is not utopia rather it is the only trusted way out from the present and future Dystopia.
Pls Comment

At 11:31 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...


At 11:34 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

Pluralism and religion
No religion except Islam offers such a detail version of pluralism. Quran focuses two major things, pluralism and scientific approach. We dissent each other because we come of different cultural and civilization perspective. Our thinking and interpretation is also drag in us to the diverse directions. In such a prejudice prevailing situation, if we constitute a negative opinion about Islam or Quran that really ostentation. Pluralism is not contrary to religion nor does it support any religion. Christian take it at their side is not genuine. We cannot obliterate any religion from the surface of the world, so the only way out are pluralism, tolerance and harmony as well as peaceful co-existence. Common features of the religions should be promoted and dialogues should be initiated. Dialogue and pluralism is interrelated. We cannot promote pluralism without dialogue and interaction. Mutual understanding and sharing of knowledge is in the interest of the world religions specially Islam.
PluRalism and QuRan
Quran and the precedence of the Holy Prophet (SAW) emphasis horizontal relation between the peoples and vertical relation man’s with God, focusing absolute Justice, Balance, pluralism, science and philosophy (hikma). Even the beasts and animals are secured in Islam. Places of worships are secured in Islam, and after Bhudism it is Islam who emphasis on environmental rights/issues and protection. Its violation has been termed as tumult (Fasaad).

The constitution of Medina, and other covenants of the Prophet with Jews and Christians, laid
down the principles for building a multi-cultural and multi-religious community. These
fundamental rules that the Prophet established have been practiced throughout Islamic
. After prophet Muhammad, the caliphs and Muslims in general fallowed the same
way: When Jerusalem came under the rule of Islam, Omar the second caliph, signed a pact
with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, which granted security for them and their property. It
recognized rights of the Jews and Christians of Jerusalem freely to practice their religion;
their churches and synagogues were respected and left intact, rather the demages inflicted during the war and siege were repaired by the Muslims themselves.


At 11:35 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

Non-Muslims have always been encouraged to participate in and contribute to the intellectual
and political life of the community under Islamic rules. The Christians and Jews were welcomed to hold posts in public offices. Some of them became ministers, especially in the
Periods of the Abbasids, Mamluks and Ottomans. Religious tolerance was well observed by
the Muslim rulers of Christian Spain. At that time, in Spanish cities like Cordova, Seville and Toledo, Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peaceful co-existence and many distinguished
Scholars and philosophers played a crucial role for exchanging cultures, the most famous of
whom was Moses Maimonides. In Islamic history, religious persecution of the members of other faiths was almost absent.
(Spanish philosopher considered the greatest Jewish scholar of the Middle Ages who codified Jewish law in the Talmud (1135-1204)

Even to day evidence has been mounting for years that Prince Charles is a convert to Islam. In a 1993 interview Prince Charles said that if he became King of England he did not want to take the title of 'Defender of the Faith', and wanted to be called "The Defender of Faith".
"Surely, those who believe, and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians, whoever have faith with true hearts in Allah and in the Last-day and do good deeds, their reward is with their Lord, and there shall be no fear for them nor any grief." No doubt Islam stands for pluralistic order. Pluralism is the design of Allah.
The pluralistic nature of Islam is further established by its principle of justice in all circumstances, in relation to Muslims and non-Muslims and foe and friend alike. Al Quran states: O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. The principle of justice in Islam constitutes the fundamental norm after faith in the oneness of Allah (Tawhid).


At 11:38 PM , Blogger Syed Shamsu Nazar said...

S Nazar Fatimi Chitral Pakistan
We have made democracy our civilisation, religion and culture. Democracy is keeping in VIEW the welfare of the majority. Democracy for all. We kill millions by carpet bombing just to force them believe DEMOCRACY and follow our's.
Then why NOT ? we propose democracy, justice, equality for the majority of the world in health, economy, education and opportunities for all the deprived and un priviliged majority of the world. Why we let them die starving, thirsty and fueling war staged by the selective democrates???


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