Comparing faiths

Source: Dawn

RELIGIOUS experience has been a profound phenomenon in human history in terms of holding beliefs, adopting a religious language, and interpreting the mundane and sacred. There is no one type of experience all religions universally acclaim, but a “variety of religious experiences”, as William James rightly demonstrates.

Therefore, studying a religion, let alone a comparative study of religions, is a hugely complex phenomenon, requiring a multidisciplinary approach and skills. Due to increased interaction among the diverse communities of faith today, it has become imperative to reflect on how faiths can communicate with and enrich each other by developing a shared language of respect and a pluralistic mindset.

The comparative study of religions is concerned mainly with the comparative study of the doctrines and practices of different faiths. In general, this comparative study yields a deeper understanding of the foundational philosophical concerns of religions, such as ethics, metaphysics, eschatology, and axiology. In many universities today, thankfully, the comparative study of religions is taught as a subject exposing the students in an “interdisciplinary manner to a broad history [of the birth] of the religions by investigating the crossroads between history, literature and religion”.

There are often two kinds of approaches to studying another faith, tradition or a community: outside-in and inside-out. The outside-in can also be of two kinds: phenomenological — seeing the faith as it is practised and understood, not as it should be — while the other is the judgemental approach, which tends to look at another faith by keeping some criteria in mind, and judging it from that perspective.

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Categories: Asia, Faith, Pakistan

5 replies

  1. With no intent to involve in to controversy gone the days to find commonalities in different faiths. In current era people are searching which faith is correct one and how to recognise it.An important aspect which must be examined about a faith is the living contact with God Almighty. Each religion presents concept of God but whose concept is more coinciding with reality. One school of thought is a faith which can present the living observation of support of the God for that particular faith. So in comparative study of different faith this aspect should also get attention.

  2. I think to if you are seriously searching for the truth and in search for God, look no further. Just be honest to yourself. Before doing any research or doing Creasy study, pray for yourself in honest means and ask God to open your mind for you and open your heart and your eyes and your ears, so that you may recognize him, when the time come. pRAY a lot. Then you can do all the research and studying of different religions. This will help you not only to find the information but also to recognize it once you have found it.

  3. I believe to study about other religions should be in a respectable way. All the religions are from on Almighty God. It’s us humans who change them according to our views.

  4. Very interesting to learn other Allah’s religions, that is why Allah commanded Prophet and his followers to believe in Torah and Gospel 4 times:

    Alif Lam Mim (1) Allah! There is no Allah but He―the Living, the Self-Subsisting Eternal. (2) It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Torah (Of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) (3) Before this as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). Then those who reject Faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest chastisement and Allah is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution.Q 3:1-4 .

    Most Schooars or clerics forbid Muslim to have or to buy Bible, so thay is why Allah curce and punish million Muslim ariund the world after 9/11 2001. Most clerics are misleading Muslim, they are not honest clerics.

    Hopefully Ahmadiyysh clerics do not follow other clerics specially the extremist clerics or scholars.

    All love ❤️
    A wise scholar always love to learn other religions but a foolish scholars hate to learn.

    • Ahmadiyya Missionaries learn all about the bible. I joined in a discussion with some Christian visitors to the Zurich Mosque. The Imam quoted the bible. One of the Christians did not know it but the other one confirmed that the Imam’s quotation was correct. Yes we can study all the books, but keep in mind that there is no ‘original’ bible. There are translations of translations and even Christian scholars admit that the bible is the word of men and not the revealed word of God. Consequently in quality there is really no comparison between bible and Qur’an. Yes, in a way the bible replaced all previous – incomplete and inaccurate – books.

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