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    • Susan Strouse
    • Pastor Susan Strouse is a native of Pottstown, PA (near Philadelphia) and is a graduate of Antioch University/Philadelphia (B.A. in Human Services) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg (Master of Divinity) Now retired, she previously served congregations in Buffalo, NY and Novato, CA. She was at First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco from 2004 -2017. In 2005 she received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Her area of study and interest is interfaith theology, particularly working with congregations and clergy to explore the meaning of being a Christian in our religiously diverse world. She served as the Interim Executive Director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio in 2011-2012.

New Voices

We must accept the fact that, for many people, the old categories of Catholic/ Protestant, Episcopal/Methodist, high church/low church, contemporary/traditional, etc. just do not matter. There are new voices contributing to the religious scene, although most of them would not like to be referred to as religious. But these voices deserve to be heard. They may have left or never been part of the church, but that does not mean that they do not have a lot to say about spirituality, the meaning of life and how to make a difference in the world.

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Radical Pluralism

I want to return now to process theologian John Cobb, who has written extensively on the subject of pluralism and the avoidance of relativism. Along with Complementary Pluralism (from the previous chapter), he has also written about Creative Transformation or Radical Pluralism. In this view, Christ is the Logos, the primordial nature of the Divine and the principle of creative transformation within all the religions.

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Venturing into Pluralism

As we move beyond the exclusive and inclusive view that God’s revelation in Jesus Christ is unique and normative, we find a complex array of options. As we begin to make our way into this labyrinth, we must first understand that pluralism is another one of those words that can have a variety of meanings.

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Pluralism 101

  We have barely begun to deal with the fundamental changes that must be effected within our Christian faith. – John Cobb(1) So here we go! Understand that this is by no means the only way that …

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The INTRAfaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters

“A unique and valuable; resource for Christians (and others) engaged in interfaith dialogue” – reviewed by D. Anderw Kille, May 27, 2016

“Inevitably, profound questions arise out of respectful encounters with people of religions other than our own. Many who have been involved in cooperative engagements with people of other faith traditions discover that it is often easier to talk with people of a different religion than it is with the person sitting next to you in your own congregation. For others, the struggle is within, as in the case of Elsie L., a parishioner in Buffalo. After a church session in which a Hindu woman active in interfaith activities had spoken to the group, Elsie spoke to Pastor Strouse. “If I accept the Hindu path as equal to Christianity,” she said, “I’m worried that I’m betraying Jesus.”

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