At The Washington Post: How I Rediscovered Christianity Through Islam

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At The Washington Post: How I Rediscovered Christianity Through Islam

Imagine a way of being Christian that doesn’t define our faith in opposition to other religions. Imagine that the encounter between the world’s religious traditions not as a zero-sum game — I win, you lose — but as a different economy altogether.

I just wrote on these themes in a special guest blog for the Washington Post/Newsweek site, “On Faith.” Check it out — and leave a comment if you can!



July 31, 2010at 1:05 pm

I appreciated your article. It is true that if you want to learn about your own beliefs, study them in the context of what others say who do not share them. I am a Christian pastor and have been dialoguing with Muslims for years. I have learned from these discussions just as much about my beliefs as theirs. In fact, the Bible says, ” I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 6, NIV).

John Grant

July 31, 2010at 2:57 pm

Thanks for this. I especially appreciate the words: “The religious “other” is not the enemy; quite the contrary: it’s through her that one’s own religious identity and practice emerge more clearly.”


Ian Carmichael

August 1, 2010at 10:32 pm

Wow! I’ve been following the comments at the Post site. What a disturbing collection of ‘torch and pitchfork’ comments. I wonder if the ability to be’ publicly anonymous’ afforded by the tags people can use instead of self-identification adds to the tendency to divisiveness and vitriol?
I can understand the hesitations, and the flinching when the’flintiness of the traditions strike each other, but there is virtue in engagement. And engagement may lead to more harmonious working through deeper understanding. It may lead to stronger independence through deeper understanding as well. It depends strongly on the levels of compatibility/incompatibility discovered in the engagements and interactions.

The proof of the pudding, is in the eating, not in a cluster of opinions about the recipe.

Philip Clayton

August 2, 2010at 1:11 am


It’s fascinating to compare your comments to what people are leaving at the Post. John immediately recognizes the key idea of the post. Aaron reports the same kind of experience that many of us have had in interreligious dialogue. And Ian wonders at the hostility of many of the comments that people are making anonymously.

I will continue to blog for the high-readership sites, since it’s a way to get the message out to more people. But you really do notice the difference between Huffington Post or the Wash Post, where commentators seek to destroy the authors and each others, and real online communities, where trust develops, few people post anonymously, and we begin to make some real progress in understanding what forms our faith can take today…

— Philip

Ian Carmichael

August 2, 2010at 8:21 pm

Yes, I certainly wouldn’t want to be OUT of the marketplace, nor you Philip – I’m just amazed at the heat mixed with the lack of light!

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