All Courses › Forums › Course Discussion Forums › Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others (Book Study) › Chapters 3 & 4
May 21, 2019 at 4:52 am #4727
Chapter 2: BBT quotes Paul Knitter: “The more deeply one sinks into one’s own religious truth, the more broadly one can appreciate and learn from other truths” (48).
Can you describe any experiences where you have had this time in your life?
Chapter 3: What parts of other religious traditions do you envy? How could that envy be turned into what BBT describes as “holy envy” (an appreciation of other religions that deepens one’s own)?
May 23, 2019 at 2:21 pm #4740
On meditating on the subject of what other religions I am drawn to and what about them I appreciate (envy is a not quite right word for me), I realize that I often come to them through art. BBT mentioned Native American necklaces–I have a wonderful Zuni bird fetish necklace. San Ildefonso black pottery, woven Chimayo rugs, kachina dolls. They touch me with the importance of symbols/spirits/animals in Native wisdom traditions. I have sculptures of the Buddha, and Quan Yin on my bookshelf, a bamboo tea ceremony whisk, a sculpture of Durga on a tiger. The beautiful geometric patterns in Islam fascinate and inspire me. So like BBT, I have a lot of “images” from other faith traditions around me, but they in some ways only scratch the surface–they draw me in, but I’m not sure into what! I admire as I said the importance of spirit animals in Native tradition. The sculpture of the Buddha draws me into its meditative stance, the Zen tea ceremony whisk reminds me of what I admire about simplicity, focus and attention. But I do not really know much about the heart of these traditions and even less about how they might enrich and deepen my own faith. The images do make me want to read and study the writings and truths of other traditions.
There was (maybe she is still there) a sister, Elaine, of the Sisters of Loretto in Kentucky. She ran the retreat center there and had a wonderful library. It was full of writing by Merton (more his later work), Quaker writing, Lao Tsu…a kind of bringing together of those who had something to say about meditation and simplicity as I think about it. Perhaps that’s what I most admire and find holy in other traditions. It is a good question to think about.
May 23, 2019 at 11:04 pm #4742
I don’t know about envy in regards to other religious traditions, I do know I so appreciate the expression of different rituals in practices. Certainly the Native American has so many rich rituals that speak to all stages of life. I somehow think we have lost that. Just today I had a memorial service for one our hospice patients and so many people didn’t know what to do or how to respond.
I also appreciated other traditions, Buddhist, Judaism, Hindu, etc…. I don’t want to convert from my faith, yet I wonder if we embraced more differences we might find we are more the same. I often wonder why this scares so many. My initial thoughts.
May 26, 2019 at 10:31 pm #4750
Dianna, I agree that we need to be more embracing of others in their faith. The concern I have is purelymy old school evangelistic view, if I embrace so much I lose my distinctiveness in faith, then how is my faith of value. I think it is a worthy struggle to consider.
May 24, 2019 at 12:07 pm #4743
I like how BBT described a silent revolution in chapter 3 that she saw in others and said she experienced. She shared her student’s words, “Not about changing my religion, but the way that I look at things.” Looking more closely at both other religions and our own can give us a new perspective and help us be a better (fill in the blank) as the Dalai Lama told his visitor Kevin.
There are different things that I admire about others religions and even other Christian denominations. I have always liked the sense of awe that I find in many Catholic services and places of worship. Taize worship has been meaningful when I have gone to it. We do not use a liturgy in the Seventh-day Adventist church and that has interested me. My Buddhist friends have inspired me with their peaceful demeanor and way of handling challenges. I love the outdoors and the Native American connection to the earth is something that I would like to experience more. Chanting from different traditions is something I have enjoyed hearing.
May 24, 2019 at 5:25 pm #4744
I’ve certainly grown to know more of my faith the more I hear from my Rabbi friend. Powerful experience when Rabbi came to see me before my cancer treatment began–placed his hands on my head and prayed for me. Powerful experience and continues to teach me of the healing power of touch.
The more I read this book, the more I know I know very little about other faiths and their perspectives. This course is so valuable and challenging.
In Chapter 3 –Can you have a religion without a God? If you can then what takes God’s Place? How do Buddhists manage without a deity to run the world, forgive sin, punish evil and grant eternal life?
I guess I keep thinking if Buddhism is about ‘growing’ a better human being–what is the difference between Buddhism and all the self-help books in the stores?
Just some beginning thoughts…
May 26, 2019 at 10:34 pm #4751
One very helpful aspect of the book is that it is definitely helping me to understand other faiths a little better. She explains through the eyes of of other faith practitioners and not just through a professors notes. IT is a challenge and a strengthener to my own beliefs to read her work.
May 24, 2019 at 6:08 pm #4745
I so appreciate the imagery of “I am riding a wave made from the much greater ocean.” Several have mentioned about perspectives on an accident/or the different ways blind people “see” and elephant. I guess, I feel confident about what I have experienced and what makes sense to me in my faith. But others have had different faith/God experiences that make sense to them. Individually we are so small compared to the world around us. I’m believing in all ways I can, God is bigger than all of these and can sort out all of my questions and misconceptions and still be God.
May 26, 2019 at 10:28 pm #4749
Sorry I’ve been a little MIA – been fighting allergies and time! Anyway, As I read this weeks materials I was struck by a memory of a :”vision” type. experience I had several years ago. I grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Over the course of my life I had been struggling with trying to understand my faith and how it had impacted my life. I have always been drawn to native beliefs in a lot of ways but they seemed to contradict my own Christian heritage. During the “vision” experience I had, a warrior came to me and told me that I could walk strong in my faith and life by remembering what I had learned from “the res” and seeking how it would guide me in my beliefs. Now, almost 3 decades later, I am still incorporating some of that experience as I work to help others see their warriors and move through their faith journey.
I still believe Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, but people have the right to choose the path they follow. My hope is to journey with them and be there when they have question or need. At the same time I am able to pick up pearls from other faiths and hold them dear because of my Christian faith. In the chapter on Buddhism, pg 47, BTT refers to the teaching that we do not seek to end pain but suffering. That, to me, is very Christ like. His yoke doesn’t do away with the pain of life, but it helps to ease the suffering that I might serve better through life.
May 26, 2019 at 10:40 pm #4753
In Chapter 4, there is a very solid piece of hope that I can grab hold of and cling to. That is, I can learn from other faiths and it can strengthen my own. If I am not grounded in my own beliefs, I will easily be lost in the sea of faith and find no anchor or port.
May 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm #4765
Dan I so agree about being anchored in our own faith. I feel grounded in my own beliefs it assists me in experiencing other faiths. I am open to new ways of expression or understanding however I know I am not going to be lost in another faith. Maybe that’s why so many are afraid to embrace Muslins, Buddhists, etc…because they are not grounded in what they believe only told what they should believe.
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