"Religions," Mahatma Gandhi once said, "are different roads converging to the same point." But in this stimulating assessment of Christianity, Buddhism, and Vedanta, Professor Burch develops the revolutionary theory that religions, starting from the same point, take divergent roads to different goals incompatible one with the other. Whereas Gandhi asks, "What does it matter that we take different roads so long as we reach the same goal?" Dr. Burch asks, "What does it matter that in taking different roads we reach different goals?" Religions, he maintains, do not have to fight each other because of their differences, or abolish their differences to avoid fighting. He is a firm believer in coexistence for religions. Ecumenicity is good "in so far as it means, on the one hand, cooperation with other faiths in their common concerns of social activities and resistance to irreligion, and on the other hand mutual respect for the other faiths themselves." Dr.
Burch argues for the coexistence of three alternative Absolutes: Truth (or Absolute Self as ultimate reality) which corresponds to the religion of Hindu Advaita Vedanta, Absolute Freedom which corresponds to Buddhism, and love (or Absolute Feeling) which corresponds to Christianity. The religious quest requires absolute commitment to one or other of these irreducible alternatives; not to truth and freedom and love, but to truth or freedom or love. In his Foreword, Professor W. Norris Clarke, S.J., of Fordham University, subjects Dr. Burch's theory to the most rigorous critical analysis, but in the end invites each reader to make the effort himself of coming to grips with the author's profound and original challenge.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 132
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 203 x 127 x 7 mm