The guys over on Nomad Podcast recently interviewed Krista Tippett, a Christian who hosts a public radio interview program called On Being. I’ve never listened to her show before – though I may need to catch up with some episodes – but it would seem she makes a habit of interviewing people of all beliefs, of asking lots of good questions, and really actively listening to the answers.
So, the Nomad guys asked her, in listening to and conversing with all these other faith traditions, does she ever feel pressure to convert to one of the other faiths? I thought her answer about belief was helpful [at about 34:00]:
None of [these conversations] make me feel like I have to convert. But here’s what I would say: the cumulative effect of all of these conversations… has instilled in me this expansive and ever-expanding sense of mystery. So my sense of mystery is quite different from when I started. And [has increased] my comfort level with that, and just really being able to take a delight in that [the sense of mystery].
So no, I don’t feel like I have to convert, but I also think that I have less and less of a need to be able to tie everything up with a neat bow. If something doesn’t completely make sense, or it’s not logical, or I don’t see how these things fit together, it doesn’t threaten my faith, and I can leave it to the realm of mystery. And honestly, I find that I can to back into the tradition, into Christianity, that there’s a reverence for mystery there, for the things that we won’t be able to explain in this lifetime, that I actually think modernity kind of neglected.
It’s really very liberating to recover that, and to take delight in it. And I actually think that a reverence for mystery – there’s something that Einstein said, that a reverence for mystery is at the heart of the best of science and the arts and religion – I actually think that a reverence for mystery, which is an orthodox orientation, creates this beautiful space for deeply religious people to remain deeply grounded in their identities and inhabit this puzzling, amazing world full of religious others.