Progressive Christianity is a growing movement in the United States. Many Christians wish to live in community with people of other religions and beliefs and stop letting religion divide us. As a philosopher, my interest is in how Progressive Christians can be Christians while allowing for inclusion of other religions into their communities and further welcoming them as members or participants in their churches. Many types of organizations face this difficulty but it is an immensely difficult task to achieve inclusivity in a religious organization. It is difficult enough to merge different forms of Christianity much less create community with other religions. I few can make progress on the issue of inclusivity in the case of religion; we can hope to learn some thing that will expand to all organizations. As I will demonstrate, a logical inconsistency arises when we struggle to identify ourselves as a group with a specific belief set and yet want to include in that group those who do not share those beliefs. I argue that all inconsistency can be avoided if Progressive Christianity defines itself according to a metaphor rather than a belief set. The metaphor I propose is “God is a Jazz Band Leader.” I will draw out the practical applications of this metaphor and what it might mean for practicing faith together, even when we do not share certain key beliefs.
|Keywords:||Radical Inclusivity, Progressive Christiany, Metaphor|
Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, USA
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