The “Word of God”, Acceptance, Forgiveness & a Chinese Mantra

Our first new library addition is an enlightening article by Joseph L. Cumming, from Yale University, showing the range of meanings and implications of the expression “the Word of God” (Kalam Allah) in Semitic languages. This article, coupling compassion to rigorous discernment, is fundamental reading for anyone working on interfaith relations, especially between the Abrahamic faiths.

An original article by Patrick Laude, “Acceptance as a Door of Mercy”, explores the metaphysical reaches of the Islamic concept of rida, “acceptance” or “contentment”, considering its implications for the understanding of the plurality of religions:

Rida is the grace of the recognition that alterity is none other than identity, and the fulfilling satisfaction therein. Thus, metaphysically, rida is a coincidence of opposites, the height of tawhid; morally, it means humility and forgiveness…”

In his article “Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Justice”, Miroslav Volf carefully establishes the idea that “the cure against religiously induced or legitimized violence is not less religion, but, in a carefully qualified sense, more religion,” and he argues thus with hope in “a reconstruction of politics” that draws on an transcendent notion of justice.

And finally, a new addition to our Sacred Audio Collection: the Zhunti Mantra (Cundi Dharani), one of the most popular Buddhist recitations throughout the Far East, dedicated to the “mother of the buddhas”, Zhunti Guanyin, “who hears the cries of sentient beings, and who works tirelessly to help those who call upon her name.”