Christ calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How we engage those who are different from us also says something about God’s love at work in us. The below resources are a means for us to dialogue with people of different backgrounds. Maybe if we can accept that which is best from those who are different from us, they will be more drawn to us. They are not anathema. They are our partners in the Way of Love.
Dr. Andrew Newberg is a neuroscientist who studies the relationship between brain function and various mental states. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as “neurotheology.” His research includes taking brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, in an attempt to better understand the nature of religious and spiritual practices and attitudes.
Featured Interfaith Resources
www.MindandLife.org – Bridging science and contemplative wisdom to illuminate our shared humanity and inspire action.
Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa details the six paramitas (perfections) of the enlightened ones, including generosity, wisdom, and perseverance. These perfections have many parallels with the fruits of the Spirit.
Within Islam, the God Most-High, Allah is known to have 99 names. The 99 names of God shed light into God’s many attributes. Prayer and reflection on the 99 names of God, give Muslims the opportunity to be representatives of these attributes in the world. The 99 names of God include the loving, peaceful, compassionate, generous, and patient. These attributes show strong similarities with the fruits of the Spirit.
John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He is the editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of Unholy War, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, and many other acclaimed works. Click here for books by John Esposito
Traditions in Brief – Short video introductions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism from the Harvard Divinity School Religious Literacy Project.
The World’s Religions – by Huston Smith is an excellent primer for understanding different faith traditions.
Global Religious Landscape – The Pew Research Center provides extensive demographic studies on faith throughout the world.
This article from the Journal of American Medicine Association sites that mindfulness training “effects are comparable with what would be expected from the use of an antidepressant in a primary care population but without the associated toxicities.”