Interreligious conversations (2)

I would like to add one other theological perspective to the first post on interreligious conversations. Virigilio Elizondo’s and Jacques Audinet’s approach to mestizo thought also provide a challenging framework for interreligious perspectives. Indeed, the process of mestizaje claims a positive and creative work within the histories of identities and allows a deep, existential, life encompassing approach to these. It also provides an intriguing approach to the process of incarnation. Of course, the concept of mestizaje needs more exploration and clarification, particularly if and when christians may come to use it with regard to theological key-concepts (such as incarnation). Christians will consider, indeed, that faithfulness to their identity and its main (unchanging) characteristics reflects faithfulness to God’s own self-revelation.

While aware that they are a human endeavour in many respects, religions nevertheless also claim faithfulness to self-revelation of God (this is the source out of which they arise) and, therefore, to some characteristics, attitudes, beheaviours or contents that reflect and embody this self-revelation of God. There is a fine and difficult balance between faithfulness to God who gives and reveals Godself and human creativity – this is the tension of which theologians as Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer had to take account in the midst of a very heavy and threatening political situation.

The way in which we think about “identities” and religious identities in faithfulness to God’s self-revelation (within God’s relationships to people and to creation) is crucial with regard to the structure of interreligious conversations. I am not sure that we already have a fully satisfactory understanding of this concept.


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