Religions Transforming Religions

                       Derived from John Cobb: "Being a Transformationist in a Pluralistic World,"
                                                     Christian Century, Aug. 10-17, 1994, pp. 748-51.

Exclusivist views one tradition as the only valid source of truth, right, enlighten-
ment, or salvation
provides for unified self/world experiences via "the social construc-
tion of reality"--Berger & Luckmann; Durkheim
rejects the diversity of other self/world realities; their being, their value, their promise
Inclusivist views other traditions as valid approximations to truth & reality as found in one's own (normative) tradition; e.g. Rahner's "anonymous Christians;" Islam's 'generic Muslims' includes other traditions within its own worldview as the definitive, key tradition and grants them some degree of validity reduces the truth and reality of other traditions to aspects of its own, more privileged teachings, beliefs, and practices
Pluralist views all paths to truth & reality as equally valid/ fulfilling, 'leading to the same mountaintop': human wisdom or "the central spiritual reality of humankind"--Reat & Perry, A World Theology need not judge between tradi-
tions, or prefer or impose one against another; rather, equitably values the distinc-
tiveness of each
risks runaway relativism: any-
thing true/ valid from any view-
point; excludes the (inequitable) unique-
ness claims of many traditions: 'Our path leads to the top of a different mountain!'

ationist *

* for examples 
see over Part II

views other traditions --secular & sacred --as indispensable, invaluable resources for transforming every tradition in the direc-
tion of its own ideals
allows each tradi-
tion to integrate aspects of others without abandoning its own identity and norms
advantages some traditions over others by their (formal or intrinsic) aptitude for incor-
porating aspects of others
Compiled by Prof. Thee Smith, Religion Dept., Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. 11/99

Religions Transforming Worlds

"If we take the world's religions at their best, we find the distilled wisdom of the human race."
                                                                                                                    --Huston Smith

Some of the transformative values each tradition offers all humanity & all cultures  (cf. Part I above):
     religious ideal    spiritual trajectory transformative value for self & world

Tikkun Olam                "to repair the world"        It is possible to heal from all histories of
Judaism                        cf. Tikkun magazine        mistreatment and misrepresentation (cf. Michael
                                                                              Lerner, Jewish Renewal)

Pharmacosm           Ritual Cosmos                 The world as a storehouse of ritual practices for  Indigenous                 (title by Evan Zeuss)         healing and transformation, from ethnopharma-
Religions                                                            cology to 'planet medicine' (Grossinger; cf.
                                                                              Armah, The Healers; T.H. Smith, Conjuring

Aware Compassion    "However innumerable    This Bodisattva ideal proceeds from the (2nd)
Buddhism                     all beings are, I vow to    Vow, to extinguish all one's illusions, to the
                                         save them all." (1st of       (4th) Vow to realize one's Buddhahood as "the
                                     The Four Great Vows)         enlightened one"--but which the Bodisattva
                                                                               may postpone in deference to the liberation of
                                                                               another/others (cf. 1. critical social theories of
                                                                               demystification or Emancipatory Conscious-
                                                                               ness--Sherover-Marcuse; 2. the transpersonal
                                                                               psychology of Ken Wilber--Transformations
                                                                               of Consciousness; 3. Wendy Farley, Eros for
                                                                               the Other; 4. Ashish Nandy, Intimate Enemy)

Jihad                              the "struggle" that            Total struggle against all forms of injustice
Islam                             follows total surrender     oppression (cf. Book of Common Prayer--
                                        (reconciliation) to            "Make no peace with oppression"), in the
                                        the will of Allah              name of (conciliatory surrender to) God

                                        --and Greater jihad:       The greater jihad is the struggle one wages
                                                                              internally against oneself / for oneself in order
                                                                              to achieve total reconciliation to the just,
                                                                              merciful and compassionate will of God

Atman is                         "Thou art That"              Each of us is simultaneously oneself and
Brahman                                                              also "coinherent" (Charles Williams) with that
Hinduism/Vedanta                                          ultimate reality to which we aspire for the
                                                                               fulfillment of all being, value, and meaning (cf.
                                                                               the Eastern Orthodox Christian theology of
                                                                               theosis--our human destiny is "in-goddedness"
                                                                               or divinization)

Gospel/Kerygma            "good news"                  We found it (eureka)! --the way to "beloved
Christianity                    /proclamation                is to end scapegoating or no-new-victims
                                                                              (cf. Rene Girard, Things Hidden Since the
                                                                               Foundation of the World), i.e., to achieve
                                                                               the reign of God as a "domination-free order"
                                                                               (Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers)
Compiled by Prof. Thee Smith / Emory/99