Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Five: Faith and Culture edition

 This week's Friday Five posted by Terri is in honor of a week of interfaith study and celebration:

1. An experience of a religion other than my own - As part of my Hebrew language class in seminary, we attended a service at a local synagogue. There was a cantor singing in Hebrew, and it was very beautiful. I enjoyed this experience.

2. Classes I've taken on another culture or faith - In college I took several classes that are applicable to this category, including: Religions and Philosophies of China, Religions and Philosophies of India, Hellenistic Religions, and Hebrew Scriptures. In seminary I took a class on the Dalits (commonly called "untouchables") of India.

3. A book that I've found helpful on other religions God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World by Stephen Prothero. Prothero's premise is that all religions do not teach the same thing but that they agree on only one thing - that there is something wrong with the world. Each religion defines the ultimate problem differently and therefore has a different answer to the problem than other religions. For example, Christians believe that the ultimate problem with the world is sin and the answer to that problem is salvation from sin brought by Jesus Christ.  Other religions do not see sin as the ultimate problem, and so do not understand/seek salvation from sin as the answer.

4. Cultures I've experienced while traveling - I've traveled to various places in the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. These countries did have different cultures than my American culture, but their majority religion was still Christianity. 

5. Cultures/faiths that I would like to experience - It would be interesting to someday travel to a country that has a majority religion other than Christianity. Two places that I'd like to travel to someday would be Israel and India.