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Jerald D. Gort

Abstract

This essay represents an attempt to discover a promising entrée to interreligious sharing of experience. It is argued that within the present context of global pluralization in the form of increasing religious division and ever widening economic-political disparities such sharing is of vital importance. Legitimate interreligious sharing, it is contended, must be understood in the trilateral sense of mutual participation, mutual accountability, and potential conversional movement. Moving vertically through the various levels of articulated religious experience there is no prior reason to assume that true sharing among people of differing faiths is impossible. Moving horizontally from the general to the specific, however, the gap between religions widens and interreligious sharing becomes relatively more difficult to achieve. An eminently promising means of bridging this gap and of discovering possible areas of overlap of religious experience is the practice of liberative ecumenism, i.e., interreligious cooperation on behalf of and with the poor.

Jerald D. Gort

Abstract

After reflecting on the ambiguous role of religion in terms of violence, Jerald D. Gort in this article outlines, first, the conditions for true reconciliation among peoples (acknowledgement of Christian complicity; no cheap reconciliation; no utopian enthusiasm; no fatalistic view of human capacity); then, second, he outlines the initiatives ofthe World Council of Churches (WCC) toward justice and reconciliation in the world. Such initiatives involve the struggle against injustice on the one hand and a practice of the "wider ecumenism" (dialogue of histories, theologies, spiritualities, and life) on the other.

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Jerald D. Gort

This essay is concerned with the question of the sources of oppressive economic poverty. It begins with a description and analysis of the present situation of poverty, which is growing rather than decreasing throughout the world today, and distinguishes between the ultimate and proximate causes of this condition. The essay then looks at the Christian responses to poverty in past and present, pointing to the early influence of Greek dualism on the church’s attitude toward physical poverty and its attempts to defuse texts that challenged social, political and economic arrangements. Finally, the essay discusses the makeup of an appropriate Christian response to it, pointing to the necessary ingredients of analysis, introspection and conversion. It also points to the necessity of rereading God’s Word and rediscovering there God’s preferential option for the poor, and that Christians are called to emulate this. Here Christians are to engage in dialogical cooperation with other religions to combat poverty in a wider ecumenism.

Holy Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Hermeneutics, Values and Society

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Edited by Hendrik M. Vroom and Jerald D. Gort

One of the prime issues that needs to be addressed in dialogical encounter between the three monotheistic faiths of the world is that concerning the authority and interpretation of Holy Writ, since Jews, Christians and Muslims alike consider their Scriptures to be divine revelation. It is incumbent upon each of these religions to apprise itself of the hermeneutical approach employed by the others in ascribing current meaning to ancient scriptural texts. This is not only important as a means for the enhancement of inter-religious understanding but is also of great interest to society at large. What role does the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Qu'ran play in the thinking and the lives of contemporary Jews, Christians, and Muslims? How are these Holy Scriptures interpreted in terms of present-day circumstances? How much room do the three religions allow for bringing their basic messages and biblical-theological traditions into rapport with constantly changing social, political and economic conditions? Is the concept of hermeneutical space acceptable to these religions? If so, in what sense and at what level? Is it possible to identify the scopus of a text and then reconstitute it textually, as it were, in light of the social and ethical questions thrown up by new contextual developments? Can interpretive adjustments be made without jeopardizing the core message of the text involved? And do the three monotheistic religions stand open to one another for influence in this regard? Has one or another of them taken hermeneutical cues from the others? Is there room for mutual learning within the hermeneutical space mentioned above or is this a sacred space closed to all influence from other traditions? These are among the central questions raised and dealt with in this interreligious collection of essays, perhaps the only dialogical symposium to date to deal exclusively with the doctrine and hermeneutics of Holy Scripture in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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Edited by Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and W. Stoker

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Edited by Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and W. Stoker

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Edited by Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and W. Stoker

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Edited by Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and W. Stoker