Notes From The Balcony

Progressive Reflections on Post-Modern Living in a Multifaith Age

Gibberish?

Posted by John Montgomery on March 14, 2010

Sometimes an interfaith encounter can reveal more about one’s own tradition than it reveals about the other. Recently, I made visit to a local Hindu temple and had the chance to participate in another’s “puja.” Such encounters are alway enlightening. (he-he!)

One of the first things that one notices is that the ceremonies are conducted in Sanskrit, an ancient language that only the priests know. To most adherents, it is gibberish – I suppose it is the gestures that count.

But sitting in a local congregation, I am struck at how similar is the mix of un-demythologized tangled metaphors that are used both in our ritual life, our creeds, and holy conversation – most of which is the repeating of pious language that is familiar but generally not understood.

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