Question

What wisdom do you find in your tradition in relating to people of other faiths?

David Arnow Jewish

As God’s world abounds with variety, so the paths of faith are numerous. “Let all peoples each walk in the name of their God and we will walk in the name of Adonai our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5). Jews don’t hold a monopoly on divine reward. Our ancient sources teach that “righteous people among the nations of the world have a place in the world to come.”* We should take a lesson from God in celebrating diversity. “For a man mints many coins from one mold and they are all alike, but God minted all people from the mold of Adam and yet not one is like another.”

Mary C. Boys Christian

Christians do not agree among themselves about the status and fate of the religious other. A great deal of theological argumentation has been devoted to whether “the other” is “saved.” Yet whatever the range of opinion, which varies both across and within Christian traditions, an important nugget of wisdom is often overlooked: the revelatory power of the “stranger,” and the righteousness of those who treat the stranger justly.

Matthew’s gospel provides a vivid vision of the final judgment (25: 31-46). Those judged “righteous” by the “Son of Man” for providing him with food and drink for the hungry and thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the imprisoned ask, in effect, when they did that for him. “Truly,” they are told, “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” We will be judged by how we treat others.

Muhammad Shafiq Muslim

According to the Qur’an, God created humanity from Adam and Eve, a single pair, one male and one female. The Qur’an goes on to note that God divided the descendants of Adam and Eve into nations and tribes, not so they would despise one another, but so they would know one another (49:13). The Qur’an explains that if God had willed, He could have made people as one community (11:118). The fact that God fashioned a world with different rituals and ways of worship further reveals God’s intention to create a diverse community of people. And the Qur’an clearly warns that process of inviting others toward God should not lead to dispute (22:76). Elsewhere, the Qur’an states that God created peoples with different customs and religious practices to inspire competition among them in performing good deeds (5:48). The diversity within humanity is a blessing from God for me and I believe that we must do our best to know each other and treat one another with respect as God intended.*

Note: Translation of the Qur’anic verses and many of the Hadith translation with references were taken from Islamicity.com; some translations of and references to the Hadith were taken from ahadith.co.uk.

4 responses to “What wisdom do you find in your tradition in relating to people of other faiths?”

  1. Lisa Nofzinger says:

    Via LinkedIn, from By Lisa Nofzinger:

    Happy Tolerance Day!
    Because of previous persecution, many pagans and heathens have animosity toward Christianity and prefer to not share their faith publicly. However, I don’t share those views. I don’t discuss my faith all the time, but I
    cooperate with people of all positive faiths. My spirituality is eclectic.

  2. Alice Greene says:

    Via LinkedIn, from Alice Greene, Pastor, Preacher, Author;

    I’m a Christian, and not an expert on other faiths. But what I have learned is that when you strip away all of the outer trappings of many faiths, at the core is the teaching that we are to love each other. That’s a place I believe we can meet.

  3. Elyse Krug Miller says:

    Via LinkedIn, from Elyse Krug Miller, Interfaith Couples’ Facilitator:

    The Torah, particularly Deuteronomy, instructs Jews on the commandment of social conscience, the administration of justice, economic issues such as charging interest and individual and collective responsibility. If we all read and reread Deuteronomy at least 5 times and practiced what the ancient writers wrote in there, this would be a beautiful world to live in.

  4. Loismarie Newhouse says:

    Via LinkedIn, from Loismarie Newhouse, Minister/Bright Blessings, regarding the question “What wisdom do you find in your tradition in relating to people of other faiths?”:

    I have found that across all faiths love is a key. In my weddings I incorporate various aspects of different faiths that reflect this to inspire the couple in their loving relationships.

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