Sallie B. King, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is the author of many books and articles on Buddhism, Quakerism, interfaith dialogue, and the cross-cultural philosophy of religion.
Sallie is a former co-clerk of Valley Friends Meeting, former president of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, and a trustee of the international, interfaith Peace Council. She has also served on the Christian and Interfaith Relations Committee of Friends General Conference and on the steering committee of the Quaker Universalist Fellowship.
Sallie wrote A Quaker’s Response to Christian Fundamentalism as a Quaker Universalist Fellowship pamphlet which was published in print form in November, 2009.
The QUF Steering Committee had its annual meeting sessions during October. In one Quaker worship sharing session, we spoke about what we and other participants, writers and readers across the globe value personally about QUF. One of us shared the following:
One of the first things that came to me in worship what the value of Sally King’s resource for young people who are confronted with the exclusivist claims of evangelical Christianity. This piece offers them a grounding in biblical conversation but also a grounding in our own faith from the universalist response. This piece and others are a real gift of QUF to Quakers.
My 16-year-old daughter goes to a Baptist church…and attends Bible study. She tells me Quakers need a “bottom line” that we can tell people we believe, comparable to John 3:16. I remind her that there are millions of diverse interpretations of that verse. The Bible itself is a conversation between the prophets, rabbis, editors, patriarchs of different ages.
Her Bible study leader told her that Islam was not a true faith, in contrast with Christianity. I told her that the Qur’an is what many Christians wish the Bible was. There is no disagreement with Muhammad, but there are many orthodoxies within Christianity.
This comment resonated with all of us and stirred us to offer Sallie’s essay again for both new and returning readers.
The piece is a long one and worth reading in its entirety. Here is the table of contents:
- What Is Christian Fundamentalism?
- The Light Within and Human Sinfulness
- Spirit in the Bible
- Religious Education
- Jesus Christ
- Relations with Other Religions