By Frithjof Schuon
Schuon's articles at the courting among Christianity and Islam have profound implications within the box of inter-religious discussion. numerous thought-provoking chapters shed gentle, from an inward measurement, upon the plain outward contradictions among those religions, significantly within the box of ethical divergences. This re-creation is a completely revised translation of the unique French variation and comprises an in depth new Appendix with formerly unpublished choices from his letters and different inner most writings.
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Additional info for Christianity Islam: Perspectives on Esoteric Ecumenism, A New Translation with Selected Letters
It is therefore faith alone that saves, and this is acceptable if we specify—and Melanchthon did not fail to do so—that works prolong faith and are an integral part of it, proportionate to its sincerity; in short they prove faith. Without works faith would not quite be faith, and without faith works would be eschatologically inoperative. If Luther, who despite his occasional violence was a virtuous man, underestimated the role of works, this could also have been because he included works in virtue and virtue in faith; virtue is in fact situated between these two poles, for it is a dimension of sincere faith and at the same time is expressed by works; but virtue is independent of works, and needless to say it is better to be virtuous without works than to accomplish works without virtue.
In their doctrine of the epiclesis the Greeks seem to have related the obligatory character of the “intention” to a particular element of it, namely, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, and then to have attributed the obligatory or even fundamental character of the “form” itself to the Spirit; thus the intention—or a part of the intention felt to be especially salient—has become the very “form” of the rite. The canon may assuredly contain a purificatory and preparatory—not operatively consecratory—invocation of the Holy Spirit; but such an invocation with its consecratory form can have only an indirect and as it were symbolical meaning, even though this meaning remains spiritually concrete, as we have indicated above.
All this brings us to the crucial question of asceticism and permits us to insert some parenthetical remarks on this subject. There is an ascesis that simply consists of sobriety, and this is sufficient for the naturally spiritual man; there is another that consists of fighting against the passions, and the degree of this ascesis depends upon the demands of the individual nature; finally there is the ascesis of those who mistakenly believe themselves to be burdened with every sin or who identify themselves with sin through a mystical subjectivism, without forgetting those who practice an extreme asceticism in order to expiate the faults of others or even simply to give a good example in a world that needs it.