Theology Without Walls – The Transreligious Imperative

God’s autobiography is mainly the story of divine interaction with people and with messages given over time to different cultures. Toward the end of God: An Autobiography, I am told that we stand on the “threshold of a new spiritual era, a new axial age, in which spiritually attuned individuals will draw their understanding of spiritual reality, not just from the scriptures of their own religious tradition, but from the plentitude of My communications with men and women.” Each religion got part of the story. It was now time to put the parts together.

I was told to start a new project, called Theology Without Walls. So I started attending the American Academy of Religion, and in 2014 held the first panel for the new TWW project. I did not mention to my new colleagues what I had been told in prayer. I presented the project on its own merits. The argument for it can be stated in a simple syllogism. If the aim of theology is to know all we can about the divine or ultimate reality, and if insights into that reality are found in more than one religion, then theology needs to take in all the evidence and not be confined to our own tradition. It should be Theology Without Walls. The project attracted considerable interest, including from leading theologians, and the result is a volume of twenty-one essays by outstanding thinkers that has just been published: Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative (Routledge, 2019). Since I am a philosopher, not a theologian, and since I did not even know any theologians or as a life-long agnostic, much about religion, it seems little short of miraculous that Theology Without Walls has succeeded to so sublime a degree. All I had to do was whatever God told me. That was all.



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