Other religions: October 2003 Archives

Not a syncretist, either

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Robert Frost once said, "Don't be an agnostic. Be something."

Let me add to that: being a syncretist in religion is a cop-out too.

Because he's not a syncretist, it's always refreshing to hear the Dalai Lama's remarks to the press. The Tibetan Buddhist leader seems to be a clear and logical thinker, which contrasts strongly with the vague concepts some people have about merging religions. ZENIT quotes him:

there "cannot be unification" between Christianity and Buddhism. "If you mean having a closer relation, understanding, that is happening in religions," he noted. ... "If by unifying you mean mixing, that is impossible, useless."...

"In the United States I have seen people who embrace Buddhism and change their clothes," he said, laughing. "Like the New Age. They take something Hindu, something Buddhist, something, something. ... That is not healthy."

A believer who picks and chooses elements from multiple religions really is making himself the permanent authority to judge truths. This is not the way to humility and spiritual progress. It's very fitting that a Buddhist agrees that this is not wise, because (if I understand it correctly) his doctrine teaches the unimportance of the self.

Keep talking to those reporters, your Holiness! Maybe people who don't accept the irreconcilability of religions will be more ready to accept it from you.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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This page is an archive of entries in the Other religions category from October 2003.

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