A senior Church of England bishop has suggested that people who believe in God but do not accept the claims of Christianity might find a "spiritual home" in Judaism.Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, said: "Looking at people's spiritual needs, I see a category of people who are natural monotheists and who simply cannot believe Christian claims about Jesus, but who would love to have a spiritual home."Whilst New Age religions offer some spiritual insights, Judaism offers a tradition, a way of believing and behaving that has been tried and tested for nearly 4,000 years."Bishop Harries, who is chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, was writing in Manna magazine, published by the Sternberg Center for Judaism, the London headquarters of Reform Judaism.In an interview with ENI, Bishop Harries said Jesus was fundamental to his own faith, and "without belief in the Incarnation, I might not even be able to believe in God." However, Judaism had offered "a remarkable witness to God" in the Holocaust and throughout the ages.He declined to say whether he had one of the several traditions of Judaism in mind when he referred to a "spiritual home" for those not responsive to Christianity.Asked whether Islam was a more natural home for them than Judaism—Jesus is regarded as a prophet of Islam—Bishop Harries said: "Both are monotheistic religions, and Islam has won converts in the West. I cannot say that one is a more natural home than the other."In his Manna article, he explained that in the past monotheists who doubted Christianity had been able to find a spiritual home as Unitarians, but Unitarianism in the UK had now virtually died out. The Quakers (Society of Friends) might offer a spiritual home but, "admirable though they ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more