MANY MANSIONS: A Christian's Encounter with Other Faiths by Harvey Cox

MANY MANSIONS: A Christian's Encounter with Other Faiths

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America's favorite liberal theologian serves up his patented blend of spiritual rumination spiced with autobiography in this informative look at the relationship between Christianity and other world religions. A Baptist minister, Cox (Religion in the Secular City, 1984, Turning East, 1979) pulls off a delicate balancing act here, entering the heart of other faiths while retaining his devout Christian perspective. He begins with Islam, arguing that its bum rap in the West results from sibling rivalry--it's simply too close to Christianity for comfort. He encounters Hinduism in India and New York City and praises its emphasis on the erotic and feminine qualities of God. A subtle analysis of Buddhism--the theological highlight of the book--finds it less fertile ground than Christianity for healing interpersonal relationships. Visiting Jerusalem, he concludes that Judaism is also a twin brother--rather than the dethroned father--of Christianity. The most remarkable anecdotes come during his meetings with Soviet Christians who make it clear that old-line Marxist thought is on the skids in Moscow. Cox winds up with predictable praise for liberation theology, and with a call for ""religion reintegrated into the secular."" Despite the occasional clichÉ (""Perhaps the moment has come. . .to try to help Christians, Jews, and Muslims recover what is common to them in a world that is just too small for any more wars, especially holy ones""), this scores through its wide scope, generosity--except towards fundamentalists--and charming, first-person approach.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1988
ISBN: 0807012130
Publisher: Beacon--dist. by Harper & Row