"There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it."
George Bernard Shaw
928 pages, over 4000 passages, from 268 Sacred texts and 55 oral traditions, gathered comparatively around 165 topics.
I’ve just stumbled upon the most extraordinary book!
World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts was commissioned back in 1985 by the controversial and colourful Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. But please do not allow this to detract from the value of such a comprehensive textbook.
Because it compares passages from the sacred writings of all the world's great religions on all the significant issues of the religious life – our universal concerns about salvation, sin, faith, prayer, self denial, purpose of life, and so on. It’s an amazing reference book, a holistic approach to understanding the world’s religions, requiring the cooperative labours of more than 40 scholars and religious leaders from every faith over a period of five years.
In a paper delivered by its editor Andrew Wilson to the inaugural assembly of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, (IRFWP), in 1991, he said that he hoped that this book would become a textbook in religious education for teaching the young how to live together as one global family, how to overcome barriers between religions, races and cultures. Because the book shows so clearly that there are many shared values and a universal foundation behind all religions, of far greater significance than the differences which are so often used to divide us. Is it being used anywhere in the world for this purpose I wonder? If Amazon rankings are anything to go by, its importance seems to be scarcely recognized.
An analysis shows that the religions broadly concur on about 80% of the 165 topics covered. Instead of insisting on a religion’s uniqueness on the basis of the 20% where it differs, let’s celebrate the common ground on that shared 80%, Wilson urges.
Here is an essay for the promotion of world peace through finding religious convergence and through emphasizing the universal spiritual truth at the heart of all religion; I recommend it for reading in full. I think it is an excellent essay supporting an amazing resource. But do let me have your comments.
"Those who praise their own doctrines and disparage the doctrines of others do not solve any problem."
Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.1.50
My book Why Religions Work explores religious tolerance issues. It could not be more relevant at the moment with the world in its present state.
This blog has concentrated recently on the wonderful pilgrimages I have been on - to the Holy Land and to Turkey and more recently to Holy Georgia , Greece "In the Steps of St Paul" , Ethiopia and most recently my experiences in Iran.
"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden