The skies are clearing after a major storm, and the future of religion looks bright—even assured. From another weather station, however, we hear a different report. A tornado is approaching that could level religion forever.
Nowadays every mother's son and daughter is the bemused intimate of the amoeba and the crab-nebula. With uncanny mechanical eyes we now peer outward at the wheeled forms of untold billions of galaxies, and inward at the dizzying choreography of subatomic particles hurtling through the void. In a matter of decades we have decoded the coiled DNA templates of ourselves, and we have caught fugitive glimpses of that place east of Hercules where space curves in upon itself and time collapses.
"In order to promote the kingdom," writes Paul Knitter—former Divine Word missionary and current professor of theology at an American Catholic university—"Christians must witness to Christ. All peoples, all religions, must know of him in order to grasp the full content of God's presence in history.…But in the new ecclesiology and in the new model for truth, one admits also that all peoples should know of Buddha, of Muhammad, of Krishna."
Harmony is a precondition for peace, and peace opens the door to joy. All of us know this from our own experience. In matters of health or study, work or worship, harmony is what we strive to achieve. When harmony is lost, the result is stress and anxiety, pain and sorrow.