Embracing Holy Envy: Interfaith Understanding 101

Robert Azzi was just named on NH Magazine’s It List for 2017. It’s easy to see why. He has offered his “Ask a Muslim Anything” program in many of our churches.

He also has a new article on Open Democracy, “Embracing holy envy: ‘Allahu Akbar.'” Here he offers an important method for beginning genuine interfaith understanding, beyond the reductions of reading books on “world religions:”

In 1985, Lutheran Bishop Krister Stendahl, in defending the building of a Mormon temple by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stockholm, enunciated “Three Rules of Religious Understanding:”

“When trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.”

“Don’t compare your best to their worst,” and:

“Leave room for holy envy.”

Read the article here.

Author: Jason

Rev. Jason Wells is the executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches. Prior to this position he served Episcopal congregations in New Hampshire for 13 years after his ordination in 2004. Jason is also a board member of the ACLU-NH. He is a former president of the Greater Concord Interfaith Council and has served on the Episcopal Church's committee on ecumenical and interfaith relationships. Jason received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and also holds bachelors degrees in computer science and mathematics from Southern Methodist University.