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The Aletheia Forum started as web blog for a monthly discussion group seeking an open inquiry about faith and values. Although the discussion group has disbanded, the blog remains for those who wish to continue the dialogue.
Why Aletheia? Aletheia is the Greek word for truth, something we all seek. That’s the easy part. The hard part is, “What is Truth?” The Aletheia Forum is a discussion into the assumptions of our religious understandings, our cultural values or identity narratives, and how we work out faith in our daily life. This blog is for those looking to participate in an open discussion on life, values, and community. In addition, it’s to help those whose suspect their Christian narrative may be too limiting discover a more open perspective rooted in the historical writings they have learned to treasure, the Bible.
An Inquiry Into Christianity, Religion and Cultural Values
A troubling starting point may be the question of pluralism in our modern world because pluralism challenges our ideas of truth, even for the relativist. Modernity, communication, and globalization did not lead to the extinction of religion, as predicted by the social scientists of the mid 2oth century, but rather to an explosion of worldwide religious energies.
Today, in the 21th century, the world has never been more religious as Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Atheist interact on the global economic stage. A great read on this topic is the work by Peter Berger, the University Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, at Boston University and the founder and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. His book, The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, debunks his early theory and popular belief that the world is becoming more secular and less religious. NPR’s “On Being” did a penetrating view of how and why religion of all kinds is shaping the global economy and political order – See more at: www.onbeing.org/program/globalization-and-rise-religion/105.
Getting Christianity right and true to it’s historic values has never been more important for those that claim Christianity. Most notable here has been Pope Francis with his recent denouncement on economic inequality and consumerism in his controversial Apostolic Exhortation in November 2013. His proclamation that the core and judgement of religion is about community values directed at those who are least among us (i.e. the world’s poor) gives us all pause to rethink “truth” and how we all practice faith on a daily basis.
A Conversation about Truth, Culture and Toleration
To begin the discussion, lets hear your thoughts on what the foundations of pluralism are for us in the western world. What were the historic catalysts for our pluralistic societies today? What role did Christianity play in getting us to where we are? Does the “Sermon on the Mount” inform our understanding? What does it means to be a Christian in a pluralistic world where democratic ideals and capitalism are conventional wisdom? Where are we going?
If you have a good article you would like to post in this forum, please email to me, the editor, and I’ll review it. Otherwise, please interact with the current posts and discussion.
Towards A Definition of Pluralism
Broadly speaking, pluralism is “the affirmation and acceptance of diversity in society” (political, religious, and scientific).
If you’re looking for a definition of pluralism, start here:
Web Links on Truth and Pluralism
If you’re looking for good content in the discussion of pluralism, check out the blogroll sites listed on left side of this page. Additional websites are listed below.
NPR’s On Being:
Want to participate in the discussion?
Write a comment in this open forum. Go to the topics section and click on any an area of interest. You can post your comments there. Or, check out the events page to look for our monthly meeting schedule on various topics. Or, send me an original article you would like to have reviewed for posting.