Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pluralism is not relativism

Pluralism amounts of relativism; which is a dirty word in religion because it suggests that there is no absolute hence anything goes. Pluralism never suggested that, it simply states that there will be diversity of prescriptions adopted by different groups because they reflect different starting points but crucially these prescriptions are binding in each case. This is not relativism; it is recognition of the role and limitations of contextual elements that permeate religious injunctions.

If there are no absolutes in religious teachings, then pluralism too cannot be an absolute injunction! But pluralism never claimed absolute status. It is simply a contextual instrument invoked to address the contextual needs which is: How can people of different religions co-exist without thumping each other?

One casualty of pluralism will be the proselytizing agendas of missionary religions. I suspect that this is the real reason why there is such resistance to this simple but potent concept of pluralism. Arguably the evangelizing lobby is the most active and powerful force in most organized religions. Pluralism will sharply blunt their fire power. I suspect that it is not spiritual but monetary considerations that are blocking pluralism from being allowed to address the need of a pluralistic society.

Pluralism for a pluralist society, The Guardian LONDON, UK, November 3, 2007: (HPI Note: editorial by Jay Lakhani of the Hindu Academy was published in The Guardian newspaper of London.)

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