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.”
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.
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?
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.)