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A Pilgrim in Chinese

             In her book, A Pilgrim in Chinese Culture, Berling finds Western religions, particularly Christianity, very 'exclusive' whereas she finds Asian religions like, Buddhism 'inclusive'. Christians prefer not to interact with members of other religious communities. They believe that outside the Christian faith there is no salvation. Christians who do engage in multiple religions, also known as pluralists, are feared that they are undermining the Christian faith. Berling believes that if Christianity ever wants to have a larger presence in the world, it needs to be more open toward other religions. On the other hand, Asian religions have no prejudices toward other religions and make no embarrassing distinctions. In a way they encourage diversity because it broadens cultural horizons and opens people to new experiences. Absorbing practices and tales from other religions is a way of enriching and developing their own community life. .
             I really can't decide if I'm an exclusivist, inclusivist, or a pluralist. I haven"t really thought deeply about other religion's beliefs or even my religion, Buddhism, for that matter. I don't consider myself religious at all, although I would like to be, therefore it would be hard for me take a side in this situation. I guess some exclusivists feel like they are being unfaithful to their own religion by going to seek help from others. But also this can make them one minded and therefore becoming ignorant and fearful of non-western religions. I would consider Berling a pluralist or an inclusivist because she reiterates diversity throughout the book and is obviously been through many experiences with both western and Asian religion. Like what Berling says, both sides, inclusive and exclusive, have to be honored but the actual issue is finding balance among the two. .

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