top of page
Search

Thoughts on Interfaith 3.0

Updated: Apr 24




By Sherna Deamer


When I think of Interfaith 3.0, I think of a bird representing our dual nature. We have a physical reality and a spiritual reality. If we use the bird as a metaphor, each wing represents one part of our reality and we need both to soar.


Science is the body of knowledge which helps us explain the physical world in which we live, and religion is the body of knowledge which helps us understand how to live in that world.


Continuing the metaphor of the bird, science is one wing and religion is the other.

Each wing is covered with a number of feathers, and we could say that the wing of our spiritual reality is covered with the “feathers” of different religions. Which bird you are imagining now will depend on your own cultural background and personal experience and that’s fine. Diversity is part of the richness of our human experience. But all religions are on the same wing.


Our modern world is focused largely on the material side of “the bird.” This has brought many wonderful things, but has also brought a host of problems. A bird with a wing that has too much of the power, if you will, just flies around in circles. What the Interfaith community needs to do is work together to help bring society back into balance.


Interfaith 1.0, as I understand it, is about learning to respect the different religious traditions--and we still need that. Then Interfaith 2.0 is about working together on social issues of common concern. For example, every religion has teachings about “acting with compassion for the downtrodden.” When we come together with an open mind and an open heart, we can learn from each other about the many sources of spiritual strength and power available to us. Perhaps we can learn practices that others use that are helpful to us. There may be language used in a religious tradition different from ours which helps us see our own religious teachings in a new light which we can use in our service to humanity. Wonderful. Different feathers on the same spiritual wing of the bird.


I believe that Interfaith 3.0 is bringing that learning into every social space in which we move. It is about bringing the universal divine principles to bear on the exigencies of the age. With the love and gentleness used by the founders of every great religion, we can question people’s assumptions, suggest alternative perspectives, expand their consciousness, and focus their energies in ways that are respectful and inclusive of all.


For example, the fact that one in five residents in Marin is at risk of food insecurity is not because there is not enough food to go around. Homelessness in Marin is not because no one in the country knows how to build a house. These problems are the result of decisions we, as a society, are making about our allocation of resources. Interfaith 3.0 suggests that we should be the voice of moral authority that reminds those in our social spaces that these are choices and that we can change our priorities.


However, I would hope for more from the Interfaith community. I would hope that we learn how to support not just material needs, as important as they are, but also consider people’s spiritual needs. Every human being is a child of God—however you define that ultimate spiritual essence. For our society to soar, we need to remember that every man, woman, and child has special gifts and talents that should be identified and developed for the betterment of all.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page