Interformation: The Ethics of Interreligious Ritual Participation
Issue: Vol 1 No. 2 (2017)
Under which circumstances should Protestant Christians participate in the ritual of the religious other? And when should we invite the religious other to participate in our own rituals? These questions raise a host of theological and ethical issues. This chapter will analyse several cases of interreligious ritual participation from a variety of analytical perspectives. The discussion is of critical contemporary importance, as people of faith enter into situations of interreligious practice more frequently. Whether attending a roommate’s synagogue, a neighbour’s mosque, a relative’s church, or a coworker’s temple, opportunities to transgress ritual boundaries are numerous. At the same time, the permutations of the various interreligious situations severely complicate any analysis. Nevertheless, the interreligious decisions we make have spiritual implications for the individuals involved, sociological implications for their communities, and political implications for the broader society. Since the decisions are so consequential, we must make them with theological and ethical awareness. This chapter elucidates some theological and ethical implications of interreligious ritual participation. It concludes by offering guidelines for participation in the rituals of other religious traditions, while acknowledging that the variety of possible situations demands a contextual ethic.
Author: Jon Paul Sydnor
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