Friday, December 14, 2007

A Monk on Religious Syncretism

"Religious syncretism, in its modern form, regards all paths as possessing equal truth simultaneously, and in so doing is forced to overlook certain basic distinctions, or to offer complicated explanations in order to rationalize these distinctions away. The ancient Christian teachers, on the other hand, took a more honest and discerning approach, which in the end proved to be more simple, natural, and organic. Rather than mixing all the religions together like the moderns do, these ancients understood that there was an unfolding of wisdom throughout the ages. They saw foreshadowings, glimpses and prophecies of Christ not only among the ancient Hebrews, but also among other peoples who lived before Him, and they saw the writings of pre-Christian sages as a preparation for Christ as the apogee of revelation ... If we concede that the pre-Christian philosophers did seek truth, and that they did catch glimpses of it, it only stands to reason that their teachings should bear some similarities, to the fullness of Truth in Jesus Christ. Therefore, these similarities need not appear as a threat to Christianity; instead, they offer one more proof of Christ as universal Truth." - Hieromonk Damascene

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