Healing Religious Wounds
(From Hate to Understanding to Tolerance to Acceptance to Peace)
Thom taught World Religions for over 10 years. He believes that part of our human nature moves us to "fear what we don't understand."" If this observation is correct, then much of what divides cultures and religions could be eliminated by opening ourselves to learning and understanding. Further, he is convinced that most of our misunderstandings come from vocabulary! When one religion uses a term foreign to another, there is fear. Our approach is to start with vocabulary used by one religion, and then to build bridges to the familiar and comfortable words of the other.
Here is a quick example: For Jewish People, the word is "Shalom," as a greeting. Christians use a phrase taken from the Gospels, "Peace be with you." Muslims say, "Peace be upon you."
If religions all start with PEACE, then how do we end up with so many acts of religious violence and wars in the name of God? History plays a big part, of course, and our human ability to hang onto events, using them as platforms to retaliate seems to be another part of human nature. History has also shown that no one is converted through violence; no one can be forced to believe something imposed upon him or her.
Teaching Tolerance is more or less a current "Buzz Phrase" in the school system. It is well intended and a great first step in teaching that different is not necessarily bad or threatening or something to be feared. We can all learn and grow from differences to new awareness's and understandings of not only each other but also of ourselves. But to "tolerate" another is quite different and pale from "accepting" another. So we should not become satisfied with tolerance as a final resting place, but rather view it as a first great and necessary step towards peace. Standing in another's beliefs or life style without needing to be converted or needing to convert is acceptance.
Seventh Direction is a place to learn and grow in understanding that differences present opportunities of enrichment and growth. We offer an introductory course to assist in taking the first steps of healing divisions between and among Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The course is complete with textbook and worksheets. You can read and complete it at your own pace and leisure.
The cost of the course is $50, PLUS a $10 REFUNDABLE borrower's fee for the textbook. Should you choose NOT to return it after you are done using it, then the $10 covers the cost of the book. If you are interested in taking the course, a convenient order and payment form follows.
For more information on this useful, enlightening and healing course, click on the link below. There is no obligation and you will NOT be contacted after receiving the synopsis of the course.Click here to request more information on this course >