Volume 29, Issue 2, 2019
Philosophy in an Age of Crisis, Part II
Michael H. Mitias
Mysticism as a Basis of Inter-Religious Dialogue
Some philosophers and theologians have argued that God-centeredness cannot be a condition of inter-religious dialogue for at least four reasons. First, it is an existential fact that all religions tend to view the truth of their beliefs and values as absolute. Second, all religions are embedded in radically different cultural contexts; this kind of difference undercuts the possibility of inter-religious dialogue. Third, grounding all the religions in a transcendent reality relativizes their beliefs and values. Moreover, people worship “their” God, not a neutral reality. Fourth, it is difficult to ground all the religions in a transcendent, neutral realty. This paper critically evaluates these arguments and defends the proposition that the mystical experience provides a justifiable basis for the claim that the transcendent is not only a wealth of being but also an infinite wealth of being and that the same transcendent is “revealed” in the mystical experience which underlies all the major religions. The transcendent is the common ground on which all the religions stand in inter-religious dialogue qua religions.