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Sunday, April 16, 2006

What is Multifaith?

We have many references to explain this term, both in print and online resources. Few are mentioned below:
1. The term multifaith is used to refer to a gathering of people of different traditions where each is responsible for contributing something of their tradition in turn, in parallel so to speak. The strength of this approach is that it can give equal treatment and recognition to each; the weakness is when the different traditions come together, in a form of lamination, without sharing in a cohesive act. source: One Faith - Multifaith’ - A theological basis for multifaith gatherings, Faith and Order Commission. Victorian Council of Churches

2. ‘Multifaith’ is the obvious way of referring to many faiths existing alongside each other. ‘Religious pluralism’, on the other hand, is the notion that all religions are equally valid as a way to God, and are to be respected as such. Source: Multifaith and religious pluralism, by Timothy G. Alford

3. “Multifaith is a wide variety of faith traditions presented simultaneously. Multifaith is not a religion, but an approach to living in a religiously and spiritually diverse world that respects the integrity of different faith traditions and promotes diversity. In What is diversity? “Diversity is ‘otherness,’ or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups.” Business Women’s Network. Diversity Best Practices. WOW! Facts 2002.” (Washington, Business Women’s Network, 2003), 865.

4. It is not an attempt to convert people from one faith to another or to meld different beliefs and practices into a new faith.” Source: “Gathering of Light Multifaith Spiritual Fellowship”

5. “An attempt to initiate dialog, cooperation, and understanding among individuals of many different faiths. It is occasionally used as a synonym for "interfaith." Unfortunately, various religious groups define the term “faith” differently. For example, some conservative Christians regard a person who is not of their denomination to be from a different faith. Other conservative Christians would regard liberal Christians as being of a different faith. Still other Christians interpret "multifaith" as involving other religions, as in a Christian-Jewish-Muslim exchange.”. “Glossary [A To M] of Religious Terms.”

6. It is possible for this same cycle to become endemic within the multifaith movement. In other words, it is very easy to think of the term multifaith as a ‘noun’, and thereby give it the potential of a body that can be described, measured, and evaluated. Already there is considerable effort to give it a structure by developing generic mission statements and constitutional rules and regulations. Even though these housekeeping details may be necessary for any group of people from diverse faith backgrounds to dialogue, this should not be considered as multifaith activity. On the contrary, it could easily become an attempt to form another syncretistic religious expression. It is only when the term “multifaith” is thought of as a ‘verb’ that it will serve its essential purpose and avoid becoming another religion. In The Benchmarks of Spirituality: Spirituality vis-a-vis the Development of Other Religious and Social Organizations

7. Multicultural/multifaith is good so long as ALL people (including Muslim extremists) respect the rights of others to their own religion or culture. IMO the guy on 60mins sounded like he didn't have any respect for the rights of established Australians, that's what frustrated me.Chookyn: poulet de montagne

8. Multifaith is not a new religion out of mixture or compound of all faiths. Each religion maintains its individuality and accepts the viewpoints of all other religions. Prakash Mody

9. Multifaith is one of the topics in focus at Global Oneness

10. Perhaps we could reflect on what we understand by culture, multifaith and multiculture. Multiculture of course denotes plurality of cultures. Multifaith meansseveral religiousbeliefs existing sideby side. The suffix -ism gives it the necessary stamp of a discipline of abiding valueand importance Multiculturalism, Bhuban Baruah, UK

11. Multifaith is about respecting each other, and each other's religious paths and traditions. And that includes those from no faith or religious tradition Flinders University Religious Centre
12. A Website, Multifaithnet, explains its focus in the words:
MultiFaithNet is a self-access research, learning, information and dialogue tool, providing updated access to global electronic resources and interactions useful for study of world religious traditions and communities and the practice of inter-faith dialogue. It is invaluable for those with information, community liaison and equal opportunities responsibilities in the public, private and voluntary (including religious) sectors offering a participative electronic forum for dialogue and debate among and between faith communities.

13. A Canadian magazine, Voices Across Boundaries, states its goal as:
Voices Across Boundaries is published by Across Boundaries Multifaith Institute, whose goal isto increase knowledge and understanding of religious faith traditions, their history,practices and place in the contemporary world...
Across Boundaries Multifaith Institute is a Canadian-based educational organization with an international scope, providing a venue in which people from diverse traditions and beliefs can begin to communicate with one another in a context of growing understanding and sympathy. Source

Obiously, in a broader sense the term Multifaith refers to multiple faiths representing a unity in diversity. As the world tries to understand the other, this term includes first, mainstream religions and spirituality, and second alternative paths of belief and practice—a.k.a. new age movements, non-traditional movements, paganism, etc.

Additional Readings:
----Multifaith Competencies of Chaplains, by Desmond Sequeira [Rev. Sequeira is the Spiritual Care Provider at the Rideau Regional Centre, Smith Falls, Ontario.]

----Christianity in a Multifaith World, UCSB Front Porch, February 1, 2002

----Introduction: Why Faith in Partnership? John Devine, Churches’ Officer for the North West, explains

----RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND INTOLERANCE: Tolerance is not much, but it would be a great improvement over what we have now...or would it?

See also Web-based sources: Google's DirectoryReligious Tolerance; Religious Tolerance's gateway promoting religious understanding, tolerance and freedom; Beliefnet which is the largest spirituality and faith web portal

Products and Services:
The Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care develops and makes available multifaith resource materials for religious and spiritual caregivers, educators, and others. Click here for the following: The Multifaith Information Manual; The Multifaith Calendar 2006; The Golden Rule Poster; Spiritual and Religious Care / Chaplaincy Tent Cards

Look at (and select the items from my Listmania): Multifaith in multimedia - VHS; Multifaith in multimedia - Audio / CD; Multifaith in multimedia - DVD; Religion in workplace (religious practice in work hours); Symbols, Icons, Images; Dress Needs Faithwise; Food Needs Faithwise; Death (near death, after death, end-of-life); Building Bridges - Faithwise; Online Religion / Religion Online.

Religous Tolerance:
"can't we all just get along?"

Image source: A GOD FIGHT for all religions

See blogs with similar interests: Multifaith; Religious pluralism; Religious tolerance; Interfaith dialog; Religious harmony; Religious accommodation; Pluralistic society Religious spiritual care; Spiritual care; Best Spiritual Blogs - Beliefnet's picks for the coolest, most interesting faith-based weblogs.

DISCLAIMER: All of the above is the effort of an individual. No institution or agency supports this project. The information is collected, it is hoped, to build bridges in the society.

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