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The Battle For Unity Is As Old As The Mountains

By Erebos

In the past most religions have dealt with religious pluralism only in a most cursory fashion – in fact some religions have encouraged mutual hostility by teaching that foreign religions are not only different, but demonic or inferior. It is easy to understand why certain religions would follow such a path, after all it must be tempting for one who believes that one universal deity created and controls the entire cosmos to assume that his deity wants only one religion to be practiced by all.

True, followers of monotheistic systems could, with equal logic and with “Pagan logic”, assume that the Divine gave humans many religious paths, just as She/He gave them many cultures, skin colours, and languages, but this has not been the dominant position historically. This position is now becoming more prevalent among segments of leadership of monotheistic religions, however, and it has long been the position of nominally polytheistic, but essentially monistic, Hinduism.

Students of religion have long recognised that the world’s religions can be divided into two groups in terms of their attitudes toward other religions. Some religions, often called “universalising” religions, are said to have a religious message and set of practices that could be universally relevant, true for all people regardless of culture, for all time. These religions, often Western-based, at times develop strong missionary movements which attempt both to undermine other religions ideologically and to convert members of other cultures to the supposedly universally relevant and true set of religious beliefs. Often such conversion attempts are motivated by the conviction that those who lack the proper religious perspective are in serious danger of damnation – and this is what, for example, happened to many of the ancient pagan religions worldwide.

Read the original article at: Penton Independent Pagan Media

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