From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism

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It will of course make decisions, but will also leave room for conscientious dissent. First from my interview with Professor Noam Chomsky. Do I believe in some spiritual force in the world?

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In a way, yes. People have thoughts, emotions. If you want to call that a spiritual force, okay. Such a belief gives me not only assurance but also a sense of being under judgement for my failures to reflect that utterly generous orientation to the Other in my own life and actions. These words from the great mystic-philosopher Plotinus, introduced to me by my late father-teacher, have long been, along with other things, a cherished part of my spiritual life.

Yet perhaps within the inner life of a believer there needs to be awareness of a kind of spiritual complacency.

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Would you agree to simply memorise a set of words, a prayer perhaps, or even a whole scripture, or the universal declaration of human rights appears to be not enough? God is always nearer than we could imagine. Sometimes we need familiar words to use to remind ourselves of this — I think here of the prayerful recitation of the Names of God or the invocation of the Name of Jesus.

If we are careful to punctuate our thinking and speaking with silence, words will begin to recover their original depth. But we do not normally question the universal presence of life, beauty and love which inspire diverse forms of art, music, song and poetry. Nor do we normally question the universal presence of intellect which is the common foundation of different and conflicting theories of science and philosophy. In every other case they seem to remain unperturbed by the co-presence of the objective and the subjective, the universal and the particular — as, for example, in regard to the human body, where there is one objective science of human anatomy and physiology upon which the entirety of medical science is based, and yet there are individual variations as to the state of health and nature of sickness.

The objection is motivated by unphilosophical reasons. How has your inner life been influenced by the presence of more than one religious witness in the world? Is it easier to encounter the other socio-religiously, almost inevitable, even involuntary given the instant nature of global communications? However, to encounter our spiritual neighbour perhaps involves invoking another kinship. One laid out for example in the great mystical challenge of the Sermon on the Mount. Therefore, how do we recognise each other as not only culturally-religiously co-present, upholding all the wondrous diversity, but also spiritually mystically deeply significant to one another, transformative?

Rowan Williams: The idea of universal recognition is crucial here: we see in one another something of the same desire, the same journey, the same drawing onwards — and if we truly believe that our humanity is one at the end of the day, then this is hardly surprising. But I also think that the more securely you are rooted in your own tradition, the more hospitable you will be to the deepest life in other places. You will see the other, in their otherness, as a gift to you for your growth and maturation.

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  • Musa Askari: I would like to turn now to issues with respect to revelatory communication, the scientific age and quest for alternatives. Unless there is such an ontological parity between one who communicates and one who receives, the communication will not be obtainable……. It is this problem which was at the heart of the controversy between philosophers and theologians. Augustine or Immanuel Kant, you have the same thrust, the same emphasis about the mystery of the human recipient…….

    We have to ask if the anthropology we have held as sacred in modern times is the whole truth or is it not already a dogma. A dogma perhaps more dangerous than the dogmatics of the ancients and medieval peoples because, at that time at least, the conflict between theology and philosophy and between theology and mysticism was very sharp. In our times, the dogmatics of a scientific understanding of man has swept across the whole world and there appears to be no rival to it.

    Moreover, whoever tries to rival it is considered as either pseudo-scientific or not to be taken seriously at all. Heretics in the past enjoyed a certain prestige, and they became in posterity the great pioneers of human thought. Does the scientific age of our times allow our heretics to become future founders of thought? I am doubtful. I welcome your thoughts in reply to the above quotes. Can we start to talk about what Hasan Askari advocated, a move towards a Spiritual Humanism?

    The Christian teacher Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century CE says that if we understand that we cannot ever come to the end of understanding God, neither can we come to an end of understanding the human person. So we must always approach the human person with absolute reverence — this human individual is a reality we shall never completely contain, control, explain, reduce, and so we have an endless task before us, which is loving and serving them, not explaining them!

    And for religious believers, there is therefore a close connection between recognizing the infinite mystery of God and reverencing humanity properly. Lose the one and you will sooner or later lose the other. Humanism in the fullest sense requires an acknowledgement of God. His most recent book is Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions Recordings of his khutbas and lectures are widely available in Islamic bookshops.

    Again, the word typically leads us to confusion.

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    That includes beautiful conduct, as well as physical or aural beauty. Holy Spirit - The only mention of the Holy Spirit in Unity's statement of beliefs refers to spiritual baptism signifying the inflow of the Holy Spirit. Unity says the "spirit of God" lives within each person. Original Sin - Unity believes that humans are inherently good. It believes the Fall occurred not in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve 's disobedience to God, but in consciousness, whenever a person resorts to negative thinking.

    Salvation - "Salvation is now," according to Unity, not something that happens after death. Unity teaches that each individual produces salvation when they turn from negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Sin - In Unity teaching, sin is a separation from God by harboring thoughts of fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt.

    It can be corrected by returning to thoughts of love, harmony, joy, and peace. Trinity - Unity does not mention the Trinity in its statement of beliefs. Sacraments - Not all Unity churches practice baptism and communion. When they do, they are symbolic acts and are not referred to as sacraments.

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    Water baptism represents the cleansing of consciousness. This stood out in my mind because when many could not wake up or were tiring of the intense activities, Mazrui the elder was always there.

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    • At the mosque, the leaders, knowing of his fame asked Mazrui to come to speak. As was his practice, Mazrui had travelled with copies of the Annual Mazrui Newsletter. She took a major initiative in March to lead prayers in New York City. This initiative had caused such a stir in Islamic circles that Ali Mazrui had issued a clear statement supporting the right of Amina Wadud to lead in prayers.

      In his statement of support, Mazrui said inter alia,. On the bus of Islamic destiny, is Amina refusing to take a back seat as a female passenger? Rosa Parks' defiance helped to ignite the Montgomery bus boycott and the civil rights movement in the United States! Is Amina Wadud's defiance the first shot in a Muslim Reformation on the gender question? She led a gender-mixed congregation in Friday prayers in defiance of traditions of male leadership. It is too early to assess the historical significance of a Jum'a prayer, in New York City on March 18, , led by a single Muslim woman in a Christian Protestant Church.

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      But we know this is not the first time that Amina Wadud has shaken a Friday Muslim congregation. In his statement Mazrui stated,. When Mazrui was invited to speak to followers of the Islamic faith in Georgetown, the driver who was sent to fetch him was instructed to tell him that he should not speak about the efforts of Amina Wadud. Mazrui then told them that it had not been his intention to speak on Amina Wadud and mixed gender prayers, but since they specifically requested him not to speak about the rights of women in Georgetown, Mazrui then informed them that he would be speaking about the struggles of Amina Wadud and her quest to lead mixed gender prayers.

      Ali Mazrui was reared as a follower of the Islamic faith and he was a spiritual person. Yet, he was a secular person who as a believer wanted all people to have their rights and dignity. Mazrui was not a proselytizer. Mazrui like most followers of Islam felt the deep persecution and harassment of the USA after the Islamophopbia craze was fuelled by the neo-conservative forces.

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      Mazrui himself was stopped and held at the airport in Miami and questioned about his connections to international terrorism. It was at this point where Mazrui was carving out a space for decent humans everywhere. Mazrui was an outspoken critic of extremism and fundamentalism of all sorts and he was critical of both the U.

      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism
      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism
      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism
      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism
      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism
      From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism From Diversity to Unity: A journey to an ideology of humanism

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