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E Pluribus Unum: For Us? For the gods? For Both? – John Jones

Date: February 11, 2012

Speaker: Dr. John Jones

Position: Associate Professor of New Testament Studies & Religion, La Sierra University

Topic: “E Pluribus Unum: For Us?  For the gods?  For Both?”

Venue: Chan Shun Hall

Attendance: 70

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Presentation: Calling religious pluralism in the U.S. a “tossed salad” of Christians (91%) & non-Christians (9%), Jones explained how the “Axial Age” (900-200 B.C.) saw major shifts in world religions (Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Monotheism, Daoism) from an emphasis on rituals, liturgical formulas, rules & sacrifices to a focus on spirituality, right actions, bringing justice to the poor, & raising philosophical questions about the Golden Rule, the meaning of life, & popular devotional experiences.  He also posited the idea that world religions have “evolved” and that one God might be guiding this development (citing Ellen White’s famous Prophets & Kings, 499-500 statement).

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