The Garden of Reality contemplates the relativity of religious truth, religious pluralism, transreligious discourse, postmodern cosmology, and multireligious mysticism. Its transreligious approach aims at a future multireligious, peaceful society in an ecological and cosmic context. It proposes that the future of humanity is bound to conviviality with itself and the Earth, that the deepest religious motivations of existing together are relative to one another, and that transreligious relativity is essential to the conviction of religions that their motivations, experiences, and conceptualities are meaningful, real, and true. By engaging diverse voices from poststructuralism to Sufism, Dzogchen, and philosophical Daoism, from conceptual frameworks of Christianity and Hinduism to mystical and postmodern cosmology, current cosmopolitanism, and interreligious and interspiritual discourses, but especially understudied contributions of process thought and the Bahá’í religion, this book suggests that multireligious conviviality must listen to the universal relevance of a multiplicity of minority voices. Its polyphilic pluralism affirms the mutual immanence and co-creative nature of religions and spiritualities with the universal in-sistence of divine or ultimate reality in the cosmos. Embracing a relativistic and evolutionary paradigm in an infinite cosmos of creative becoming, religions must cope with events of novelty that disturb and connect, transcend and contrast, the continuum of their truth claims, but must avoid conflict, as religious diversity is enveloped by an ever-folding landscape of ultimate reality.
“The Garden of Reality is without doubt the most important western language contribution to the emergent field of Baha’i philosophical and religious thought. Its novel ideas should be digested and appreciated as they provide a vision for a humanity seeking the genuine oneness of humankind through a befitting unity in diversity.
-Stephen Lambden, University of California, Merced
“There are truths blossoming in this magnificent book that we must not as a species keep missing: truths of a boundless relationality that relativizes any relativism right along with all warring absolutes. With his precise poetics of multiplicity, Faber reveals the becoming diversity of this ‘transreligious’ garden flourishing under one sky.”
-Catherine Keller, Drew University
“Distinctions of religion, race, nationality, gender, class, and species often battle on a chessboard of antagonism. This text offers a vision and method to transform oppositional multiplicity into nonviolent mutuality. Cultivating resonant insights from the lesser-known Bahá’í tradition and Whitehead’s process-relational philosophy, Faber exemplifies how to anticipate generative tensions, value variations, and tend to the insistent subtleties of bodies and beliefs always in process.”
-Brianne Donaldson, Rice University