In American society we have (understandably) a multitude of opinions about God. This goes without saying. But how we deal with difference has consequences. The result of multiculturalism and pluralism has, according to professor of religion Stephen Prothero, collapsed all of these ideas about God and religious belief into one manageable whole. In an attempt to be tolerant of religious difference we have, argues Prothero, missed something. His new book, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World—and Why Their Differences Matter is intended to inform the reader that there are real differences between the world religions, and to suggest otherwise actually devalues each unique tradition. Moreover, the danger in believing all religions are the same, he contends, does little to serve efforts for global peace. That is, true knowledge of how each worldview operates may result in better approaches to foreign policy and authentic tolerance. Prothero challenges the oft-held belief that “all religions [are] different paths up the same mountain,” noting that a better understanding is that “the world’s religions are climbing different mountains with very different tools and techniques.” As “repositories of unanswered questions” the many world religions offer differences that are enriching. “Why can’t we respect and even revel in differences when it comes to religion?” asks Prothero. Read the full article here.
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