Rajiv Malhotra about the literalism inherent in Semitic faiths

Received over email from Rajiv Malhotra:


A central thesis I have developed over the past 15 years is something I have termed as the “History-Centrism” of the Abrahamic religions. My forthcoming book goes into extensive details.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure to have a video-taped discussion with Joshua Stanton, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialog. This organization is affiliated with the prestigious Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, and it is pushing the frontiers of inter-religious dialog.

The original idea was for Joshua to interview me in order to produce a 5-minute video of my views. We started conversing casually and it evolved naturally into much more. After editing, what emerged is a series of 11 video clips each addressing a specific issue from a dharmic perspective.

The overall theme is my explanation of the DIFFERENCES between dharma and the Abrahamic religions. While it is fashionable to focus on how faiths are all the same, I focus on the differences. Being different is not a matter of superiority or inferiority, but about respectfully appreciating what makes another faith what it is on its own terms.

Joshua has taken one of these 11 clips and turned it into an important call for introspection by people of Abrahamic faiths: Whether and why these faiths DEPEND upon an absolute and literal history. Pls watch that video and post comments at the blog site. (DO NOT respond to this email address as I seldom check it.)

Gradually, the rest of the videos will also be turned into discussion points between us. But you can see all 11 videos posted on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PL3345DE2C0095456D

Each video clip may be separately accessed as well:

1 – God and Identity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS7CE9mrtI4&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

2 – Brahman and Karma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THua8SMPtK4&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

3 – Why Reincarnation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_9IYK6ZlyY&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

4 – Limits & Possibilities of Self: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXrKKz7Mld8&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

5 – Personal Motivations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNhQIKC2jPM&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

6 – Language and Difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEUeYDEFtsE&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

7- History Centrism As the Problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhp3rFuo5Cw&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

8 – History & Dharmic Traditions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufZ1BZcZzKI&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

9 – Dharma & Modern India: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FndfcBhZklU&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

10 – Dharmic Framework for Dialogue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9s433rQloA&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D

11 – Educating the Next Generation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20u8yHim1tM&list=PL3345DE2C0095456D




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