Sunday, July 8, 2007

Erich Fromm on Universal Religion(1)

Hi Friends,

I received the following highly interesting quotation from Carol Rutstein via Rob Stockman. Where it started, I do not know. Just in case you haven’t seen it, I am forwarding it to you. I own The Sane Society, but somehow I missed this one. It’s well worth reading.

Jack McLean

"….In fact, for those who see in the monotheistic religions only one of the stations in the evolution of the human race, it is not too far fetched to believe that a new religion will develop which corresponds to the development of the human race. The mostimportant feature of such a religion will be its universalistic character, corresponding to the unification of mankind which is taking place in this epoch; it would embrace the humanisticteachings common to all the great religions of the East and of the West;it's doctrines would not contradict the rational insight of mankindtoday, and its emphasis would be on the practice of life, rather thanon doctrinal beliefs. Such a religion would create new rituals and artistic forms ofexpression, conducive to the spirit of reverence towards life and thesolidarity of man. Religion can, of course, not be invented. It willcome into existence with the appearance of a new great teacher, justas they have appeared in previous centuries when the time was ripe. In the meantime, those who believe in God should express their faith by living it; those who do not believe, by living the precepts of love
and justice and - waiting." (The Sane Society, p. 352)

(The same ideas are also expressed in Julian Huxley's book, Evolutionary Humanism; see "The Humanist", Vol. XII, 5, 1953, pp. 201 ff.)

"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless." Lao Tzu


Baha'i Dialogue said...

Dear Jack,

The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed many intellectuals such as Erich Fromm who saw the need for a new religion, and in response to that need there arose a number of movements. Marx, Fourier, Saint Simon, Krishnamurti, Steiner, Hitler, the Ahmadiyya, Unification Church, Scientology, these and a myriad other claimants. In the marketplace of ideas, the Baha'is have not convinced very many people that their religion is the one best suited to the current and future needs of humanity. Indeed, it appears that many Baha'i intellectuals are not yet convinced that this is the case.

Warmest, Peter

Husayn Villar said...

Dear Peter,
I believe that the UHJ also thinks that it is necessary that the bahais makes evident that the Bahai Faith has solutions for the problems that suffer the current world.
in an answer that I received from the UHJ, says: Your concern for the acquisition of a deeper understanding of theological matters in the Faith is appreciated, and you are encouraged to continue your personal study of the Faith, individually and with others. A focus upon the Teachings and principles addressing society's present challenges would be particularly useful in your teaching efforts among those seeking new solutions.