While contemporary interfaith movements aim to unite the voices of the multiple faith traditions for confronting injustices and inequities, the emergence of religious extremist groups and multicultural societies pose challenges arising from the mixing of different religions. Reflecting on Mohandas K. Gandhi’s writings, this paper analyses Gandhi’s vision of heart unity for creating communal harmony among the many religions of India at a time when the forces of fanaticism, bigotry, and hatred are raising their heads. Despite historical and contextual differences in the time Gandhi lived, his moral and critical approach to religion presents dynamic solutions for salvaging it from dogmatic and violent systems and for situating it in a moral context. His emphasis on the equality of all religions, while grounding himself in Hinduism, presents a model for serious and honest interfaith interactions. His insights on the issues of conversion, the study of scriptures of different religions, interfaith marriages, and parenthood can be experimented with to disrupt the othering of religions different from one’s own in order to build interreligious relations, with the goal of mutual respect and deep understanding, not simply tolerance.
Interreligious Relations / South Asia
Last updated on 03/07/2020