|About the Book|
We have, says Father Whitson, moved across the threshold into a new situation in religion. No longer is the quest for unity primarily the concern of historians, social theorists and those who generally felt themselves to be outside the commitmentMoreWe have, says Father Whitson, moved across the threshold into a new situation in religion. No longer is the quest for unity primarily the concern of historians, social theorists and those who generally felt themselves to be outside the commitment to one of the traditions. The quest for unity at long last involves those with a specific religious identity and hence enters the very substance of religious experience, both individual and communally shared. Even though a concern still limited to a very few, the explosion in communications and the revolution in education are even now multiplying the effect of these few astronomically.The question before us, he continues, then, is not whether the worlds religious traditions have a positive significance for one another, but rather, how we can formulate an understanding of that significance. The formulation we seek must arise from within actual religious experience and be capable of speaking to one who listens from within a tradition of sharing specific historic forms of experience. It must not presume that the process towards unity will destroy the various traditions, reducing them to some common, indeterminate kind of religious experience. On the contrary, to be authentic it must recognize and prize the very different heritages, for we can now see that each at its core is unique. Sometimes the differing traditions, originating in isolation from each other and so coming to their present maturity separately, are to become dimensions of one another, complementing each other by their varied uniqueness, and making possible an undreamed of breadth and depth of vision for man in an infinite universe.