Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Understanding between the Faiths'

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Understanding between the Faiths'

Article excerpt

"The direct rule for practice of Christian Science is the Golden Rule, 'As ye would that men should do to you, do ye' " (Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 282). That Rule appears in virtually all the world's faiths - including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Jainism, and the Baha'i faith. More than just another adage, it's actually a living prayer for all, and an essential component in attaining peace and healing.

One example of this universal emphasis on the Golden Rule is an open letter sent last year from 138 Muslim leaders to world Christian leaders, seeking dialogue based on common ground between the two faiths. They pointed out that "the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians." The Christian Science Sentinel's "Items of Interest" section (Sept. 1) included news of an interfaith conference at Yale University in July that grew out of this appeal, attended by Muslims, Christians, and Jews - the first of four such conferences to take place around the world. The event at Yale centered especially on the shared beliefs of loving God supremely and following the Golden Rule.

The Monitor quoted the closing statement of the conference attendees: " 'Ours is an effort to ensure that religions heal rather than wound, nourish the human soul rather than poison human relations.' " And it went on to report, "Recognizing that to live together in peace, much less love one another, requires greater understanding between the faiths, the conference focused primarily on theological discussion on 'who we are and what we think' " (Aug. 4).

When people come together to work not just for peace but for healing, there's cause for great hope. And it's especially noteworthy that the concepts of identity (who we are) and mentality (what we think) should play such a prominent role at multifaith conferences, because this gets at the heart of what needs to happen if humanity is going to truly heal the world's divisions.

Christian Science explains that healing is attainable through understanding our identity as ideas of the divine Mind, coexisting harmoniously - and by putting off materialistic thoughts and motives, and developing spiritual-mindedness. …

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