28 May 2017

Prophets Who Create By Reforming

Well, it’s certainly true that all great religions deal with the same conflicts of politics and violence, and the struggle to reconcile with the realities of a changing, evolving and modern world. I think there’s this misunderstanding, among most people of faith, that prophets sort of grow up in some kind of cultural or religious vacuum. That a prophet is somebody that just plopped down to earth from heaven, and with a ready-made message, in which they found a brand-new religion. But prophets don’t invent religions. Prophets are reformers of the religions that they themselves grow up in. Jesus did not invent Christianity. Jesus was a Jew. He was reforming Judaism. The Buddha did not invent Buddhism. The Buddha was a Hindu. He was reforming Hinduism.
- Reza Aslan,
taken from Krista Tippet's book, Becoming Wise

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