On Peace Among the Faiths
Excerpt from “Du Pace Fidei” (“On Peace Among the Faiths”) by Nicolaus of Cusa
“Although the intellectual spirit, which is sown in the earth and is absorbed by shadows, does not see the light and the beginning of its origin. You have nonetheless created in him all that through which he, full of wonder over which he attains with the senses, is at some time able to elevate his mental eyes to You… To the various nations, however, You have sent various prophets and masters, the one for this, the other for another time. It is a condition of earthly human nature to defend as truth lengthy custom, which is regarded as part of nature. And thus no small dissensions arise, when any community prefers its beliefs over another’s. Therefore come to our assistance, You who alone are powerful. For this rivalry is on account of You, whom alone all venerate in all that they seem to adore.”
In the construction of a conversation among a Jew, a Muslim, a Tartar, an Indian, a Persian, a Syrian, a Spaniard, a Turk, a German, a Bohemian, an Englander, a Greek, an Arab, and an Italian. He lets Paul speak for the Christians:
“Tartar: ‘It is proper to keep the commandments of God. But the Jews say they have received those commandments from Moses, the Arabs say they have them from Mohammed, and the Christians from Jesus. And there are perhaps other nations who honor their prophets, through whose hands they assert they have received the divine precepts. Therefore, how shall we arrive at concord?’
Paul: ‘The divine commandments are very brief and are all well known and common in every nation, for the light that reveals them to us is created along with the rational soul. For within us God says to love Him, from whom we received being, and to do nothing to another, except that which we wish done to us. Love is therefore the fulfillment of the law of God and all laws are reduced to this.’”
As Nicolaus suggested, I, too, believe that all the “contraries” in all the religions can be accepted and united. This does not mean a religion gets swallowed in the conglomeration where it loses its own identity. It merely means that there is no reason that we cannot live together.