- The Quest: Christ Amidst the Quest © 2012
- Wipf & Stock
- xix+272 pages
What is religion, anyway? It’s common to suggest that everyone is using religion to find their own way up the mountain to God, but what about religions where there is no God to speak of at the summit? If we want to engage the multi-religious world around us, we need to learn these religions on their own terms before trying to figure out how to relate to them.
This is where Kulathungam’s book comes in. Rather than impose Christian frameworks on other religions, he tries to discern what the core quest of each religion is, then explores places where Jesus can relate to that quest.
His approach is humble, too. In the Preface he freely confesses that “Christianity cannot satisfy the human quest, but Christ can” (xiv). Rather than presenting strategies for evangelism, he recognizes that “in relating Christ to the quest of people, one should rather depend on God. He is smarter than our strategies” (xv).
The greatest strength of this book is in Kulathungam’s encyclopaedic knowledge of world religions. I learned a tremendous amount about many religions that I thought I already understood sufficiently. Kulathungam doesn’t over simplify. He takes time to explore the different sects and theological leanings within each religion. It’s a more complicated but vastly more rewarding approach.
Our world is very religious. As communication grows, collisions between religions increase. A thoughtful evaluation like this one is an important tool to help us to engage each other generously and effectively.