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COLLECTIONBook excerpts
TITLEThe Fifth Dimension
AUTHOR 1John Hick
PUB_THISOneworld Publications
ABSTRACTTwo passing mentions of the Faith; included because of the author's relevance to Bahá'í Studies.
NOTES An earlier edition of this book had different pagination, with the following content on pages 78-79 and 227.
CONTENT [page 84]

... In the west this conception has always been more at home within the mystical than the ecclesiastical-doctrinal thought-world. There are historical reasons for this. Medieval Christendom was a cohesive religious culture in which the only known 'others' were the hated and despised Jews within and the hated and feared Muslims without. Christian writers (until Nicholas of Cusa in the fifteenth century) were not usually concerned to take serious account of the realms of religious life and experience beyond their own borders. The Indian sub-continent, on the other hand, was always a multi-faith region, with the Shaivites and the Vaishnavites within what is today called Hinduism, and the Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, and later the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs all coexisting, sometimes as hostile, and even violently hostile, but most of the time as friendly, neighbours. And so the pluralistic idea has a more

[page 85]

familiar and accepted status in India and further east.

But the most explicit teaching of pluralism as religious truth comes from the region between east and west, namely Iran (Persia). It was here that the nineteenth-century prophet Bahá'u'lláh taught that the ultimate divine reality is in itself beyond the grasp of the human mind, but has nevertheless been imaged and responded to in different historically and culturally conditioned ways by the founders of the different faith-traditions. The Bahá'í religion which he founded continues to teach this message in many countries today...

[page 233] is the basic teaching of all the world religions that we should behave towards others as we would wish others to behave towards us. ... [Here follow seven quotations from other religions.] ... 'Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for any one the things ye would not desire for yourselves' (the Bahá'í Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, 66, 127). ...

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