In a conversation with a student the other day, I learned that her mom is Muslim. I asked if she was, she said no, that she wasn’t Muslim and “Don’t really consider myself anything.”
I am almost always curious about people’s self-identified religious persuasions, so I pursued this. She explained that she thinks all the religions are pretty much about the same things anyway, so she wasn’t worried about identifying with any one of them in particular. Then she uttered the phrase I love to pounce on: “They all serve the same God anyway.”
I asked her how she knows all religions are really about the same god. She didn’t have an answer for me, but asked politely if she could take some time, at least a day, to think about it. I happily gave her a day to consider how she knows (or why she thinks) all religions are about the same god.
What do you think?
I asked her “How do you know?” for a very specific reason. Rather than tell her she is wrong or right, I really want to know why she thinks so. I want to know why you think what you think about this, too.
A very modern answer would be either yes or no to the question of whether or not all religions follow/serve/worship the same God. This is because modernity gave us the possibility of a generic god – a bland, albeit powerful being unseen and unseeable, ruling over all the earth.
I ask how you know that all religions do or don’t serve/follow/worship the same god because I contend, against modernity, that the only way we acn know if we serve the same god is to describe god; to tell stories about our god so that others might know if this is the same god they follow.