Bede Griffiths on the Pressing Need for Deep Ecumenism

Bede Griffith instructs us in the need for Deep Ecumenism when he says, “Today we have to open ourselves to the truth in all religions.”

Fr. Bede Griffiths talks about how exploring other religions can enhance the faith you practice. If people can learn to simplify their lives, look beyond reality to the mystery, they can be closer to God. Video from A Network for Grateful Living

For Bede, deep ecumenism is not about making nice with other religions. It is about recovering a “balance” in a society that is unbalanced and it is about evolving “an authentic form of religion” that will address today’s needs. Eastern and indigenous religions, he feels, can assist the West to bring back a lost “balance.” 

All the Christian churches, Eastern and Western, have to turn to the religions of the East, to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and the subtle blend of all these in Oriental culture, and to the deep intuitions of tribal religion in Africa and elsewhere, if they are to recover their balance and evolve an authentic form of religion which will answer to the needs of the modern world.

Coming together for a shared understanding of the Divine: History of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

He believes that to recover the original Myth of Christianity revealed in the New Testament…cannot be done by the Western mind alone. We have to open ourselves to the revelation of the divine mystery, which took place in Asia, in Hinduism and Buddhism, in Taoism, Confucianism and Shintoism. Nor can we neglect the intuitive wisdom of more primitive people, the Australian Aborigines, the Polynesian Islanders, the African Bushmen, the American Indians, the Eskimos.

All over the world the supreme Spirit has left signs of his presence. The Christian mystery is the mystery of God’s presence in Humanity, and we cannot neglect any sign of that presence.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, pp. 245, 238, 247.

Also Spirituality for a New Era: An Evening with Bede Griffiths and Matthew Fox in Dialog

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Interfaith Banner, Nichols College Chaplaincy. Photo by Sean on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Is it possible that the expanding interest in Buddhism and Yoga and Indigenous religions is a playing out of Griffiths understanding that Christianity itself can be reborn with the help of other religions?

Recommended Reading

Spirituality for a New Era – An Evening with Bede Griffiths and Matthew Fox in Dialog

Matthew Fox and Fr. Bede Griffiths each lecture for approximately 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes of dialogue. 91 minutes. 1990. (Audio file; to download, click HERE.)

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2 thoughts on “Bede Griffiths on the Pressing Need for Deep Ecumenism”

  1. Avatar

    Wow. Today’s DM is so very beautiful and so hope inspiring. The video clips, all of them, were so powerful. I kept listening to them over and over, especially the one of Bede Griffith. What a beautiful enlightened soul.

    There were moments when tears came to my eyes, and then moments of a smile caressing my lips. I was surprised by how moved I was by all of this and how strangely comforting and consoling today’s DM has been for me.

    I’m looking forward to receiving the book you have been referencing over the past few days in the DM’s, The Marriage of the East and West, which I ordered yesterday. What other books of Bede Griffith would you also recommend at this time in my learning?

    Thank you so very much for all that you have shared with us today, as all of it has been such a blessing.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, We are so happy by your response to todays DM. Here are some books by Bede that are recommended: A NEW VISION OF REALITY: WESTERN SCIENCE, EASTERN MYSTICISM AND CHRISTIAN FAITH; SPACE IN THE HEART OF LOTUS: BEDE GRIFFITH AND THE HINDU-CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE EXPERIENCES, and an interesting biography about Bede is Shirley du Boulay’s BEYOND DARKNESS. Hope this is helpful…

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