More About Byron L. Sherwin, Harold Kasimow & Edward I. Cassidy
Byron L. Sherwin is Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago. He is an internationally recognized authority on Jewish theology, ethics, and mystical traditions, and the prize-winning author of twenty-four books, including Crafting the Soul, Why Be Good?, Jewish Ethics for the Twenty-first Century, and most recently Golems Among Us published by Ivan R. Dee.
Byron L. Sherwin currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois. Byron L. Sherwin has an academic affiliation as follows - Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.
Reviews - What do customers think about John Paul II and Interreligious Dialogue?
Good but not Great May 31, 2000
This book contains numerous lengthy excerpts from John Paul II's writings and speeches about non-Christian religions. It also contains essays about John Paul's view of non-Christian religions by Catholic and non-Catholic writers.
The most surprising thing about JP II's theology of non-Christian religions is how favorable he is. Particularly in his addresses to non-believers, his praise seems to know no bounds. He refers to Moslems as "brothers in God" and tells Buddhists and Shintoist that "On this earth we are pilgrims to the Absolute and Eternal." This last statement is particularly strange in light of JP II's belief that "Buddhism is in large measure an 'atheistic' system." (p. 53.) At times one gets the impression that JP II thinks the problem with the world is not a lack of Christianity, but a lack of "religion." For those who think that JP II is a reactionary who is opposed to all things non-Catholic, this book comes as quite an eye-opener.
This leads to the major fault I have with the essays. While they are for the most part informative, the authors never ask the question of how someone like JP II, who is supposed to be such a conservative, orthodox Catholic, can be so favorable to non-Christian religions. Could it be that JP II is not the traditionally minded Catholic that the media and his conservative followers portray him? This question is never asked. Not surprisingly, then, the essayists fail to interact with the one book I am aware of that raises this question: Pope John Paul II's Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions at Assisi by Fr. J. Dormann. The Dormann book (actually a series of three thus far) has some flaws. He is intent upon taking much of what JP II says in the least orthodox light, and in the context of JP II's alleged universalism. Nonetheless, the book highlights important facets of JP II's theology.
All things considered, this is an important and timely collection.