" In light of Ignatius' 'Two Standards' and 'The Mystries Done From The Garden To The House Of Annas', at any moment we can be Judas or Peter, a Christian life can be a fine line."
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tetter-totter, Religous Indifferentism Or Error Has No Rights
Yoga Guru B.K.S. Iyengar
“What does the existence of other religions mean for a Christian (or any believer)?” Inter-religious questions – of relations, of theology, of dialogue – are important from beginning to end of the course in authors like Paul Knitter, Francis Clooney, Michael von Bruck and the Dalai Lama. The liveliest and most productive action is intra-Christian questioning, for example in 2004, when a bright, pastorally sensitive Evangelical chaplain traded insights and challenges with five Catholics, a Protestant and a Unitarian, with students of other religions looking on in wonder. Many of the questions had to do with Knitter’s “teeter-totter” (“Introducing Theologies of Religions”), balancing the Christian tension between God’s desire to save all people and the uniqueness and necessity for salvation of Jesus and the Church. When one side is up, the other seems down; yet both have their truth. This tension does not seem to go away. Finally, there was this past January’s joyful and fruitful immersion course, our third in India. Though we were unable to meet with the brilliant Hindu guru with whom I study in Mumbai, our luck was incredibly good. We had fortunate encounters with Fr. Placido Fonseca (BOM), the genius for 30 years behind Snehasadan, the street kids’ turnaround project; Dr. B.K.S. Iyengar, the world’s greatest Yoga master, at his institute in Pune; and Gurunath, our driver to the Buddhist and Hindu caves at Ajanta and Ellora, who turned out to be the very embodiment of a Hindu lover of God. We clapped along with his tape player’s Marathi language songs to God Vitthal! Lectures on Hinduism and the Christian theology of the oppressed (Dalit) peoples were frequent and helpful, but we will remember more the lively activists of Vimochana Women’s Centre in Bangalore, Dona Fernandes and Madhu. Veteran leaders of demonstrations since 1979, they are young enough to speak tirelessly and hopefully against domestic abuse and discrimination against women. Our students visited a school and village of Dalit people, Anekal, in which Fr. Anil D’Mello (KAR) and his assistants were making intelligent and courageous initiatives. We visited St. Thomas the Apostle’s tomb and the great Hindu temples in Madras and celebrated St. Sebastian’s big feast near Cochin, with descendants of St. Thomas’ Christians. The outstanding theologian, Fr.Michael Amaladoss, S.J. (MDU), spoke with us, and we wrote about dialogues with Hindus and Sikhs, Indian Christian Liturgy,and the interplay of religion and culture.
I am not a Jesuit, nor am I a cleric. I spent about 5 years under the spiritual direction of a Jesuit, 3 of those years in a weekly directed retreat in everyday life. The profound impact that the Society and the Excercises had upon my life, resulted in me, trying to deal with that impact in some way by sharing my view of Jesus Christ with others. My intention is to pull together Jesuitical and Catholic subjects that interest me. I was born on the feast day of St. Paul Miki, S.J.. I am the father of three small children and an infant, I am married to a great wife.