Essay on Friendship And Hope : Hospitality And New Solidarity
Doing theology comparatively together is inviting us to live with the avoidable tension between “the commitment to the Christian tradition” and “openness to the truths of non-Christian religions.” The tension creates a double commitment when doing theology comparatively. We need to go beyond religious tolerance to take the steps interreligious engagement in order to build a deeper interreligious friendship and bring new hope in hospitality and new solidarity.
After having discussed the complexities of religious doctrines and theologies, Fredericks leads his audiences to a very foundation of a human person: love your neighbors. Love is not a new virtue for all Christians but the love that needs for doing comparative theology is philia, a “preferential love, [which] calls Christians to enter into friendships with non-Christians based on the innate attractiveness of their actual beliefs and religious practices.” Philia is the basic love that everyone is able to practice it; meanwhile, the unconditional love, agape, even though perfect, may not be easy to apply for doing theology comparatively from the beginning.
Befriending with other religions’ friends gives us various chances to experience the benefits of interreligious relationships. For example, we could be able to go beyond the fear of strangers, to have a sense of others’ similarity and goodness, to bring abstract doctrinal pages and theological traditions into…