The wisdom of Bishop William Swing and other United Religions leaders

By Lee Penn

Summary:

Robert Muller, a strong supporter of the United Religions Initiative (URI), praises Bishop Swing as a great sage, a peer of Plato and Aristotle. Therefore, I provide 70 quotes from the Bishop for 1994 to 1999. Because sages attract wise and talented followers, I also offer quotes from the Rev. Charles Gibbs, the Executive Director of the URI, and from the Rev. William Rankin, Vice President of the URI.

Conditions of use:

This story is an extract from a book-length manuscript by me titled "False Dawn, Real Darkness: the Millennial Delusions of the United Religions and the New Age Movement." You may re-distribute this story by hard copy or electronically, and you may abridge or quote from this story - IF you give credit to Lee Penn as the author, and IF you include - in the body or as a footnote - the following statement:

"An abridged version of this information is appearing in the series of articles "The United Religions Initiative: Foundations for a World Religion" (Part 1 and Part 2). The first article was published in the spring of 1999, and the second part is being published in the fall of 1999 by the Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project. You may order the complete stories from the Journal, or subscribe to the Journal, by calling (510) 540-0300, or by writing to the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Post Office Box 4308, Berkeley, CA 94704, or by visiting the SCP web site, http://www.scp-inc.org/."

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Greatness and wisdom deserve recognition. According to Robert Muller, a former assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and a fervent supporter of the United Religions Initiative (URI), we have a sage among us now - Episcopal Bishop William Swing of San Francisco, the founder of the URI. Muller says that when humanity looks back from 2013 to the present, they will see that Bishop Swing is a peer of Plato, Aristotle, and Maimonides. Describing his vision of the future, Muller writes:

"Humanity is now a united world community of nations, not only economic and political, but also spiritual, following the path opened in the last century by Dag Hammarskjöld and U Thant in the United Nations, by Robert Schuman in Europe, and also throughout the millennia by prophets and founders of religions, and by great sages such as Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, Huxley, Albert Schweitzer, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Bishop William Swing and others." (1)

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To ensure that Bishop Swing's wisdom receives due honor, here are quotations from his speeches, interviews, and writings, arranged in chronological order.

1994

At Matthew Fox's October, 1994 "Rave Mass," Bishop Swing said, " 'the Mass reminds him 'of an experience I had as a 9-year old boy in West Virginia, coming to a sense of God through Nature. That gets so layered over by generations of study and theology, but this Mass leads one back toward that great awe.' Swing, who has been bobbing to the techno-music, says it's 'so nice to see the church with a new song and a new language'."(2) On the same occasion, Swing added, "The whole business of having the Eucharist in the context of Nature, and the planets, and the unfolding of life is a context that has to happen. This is probably around the time of the genesis of liturgies like this, and I'm sure that there will be more and more. It's coming ... So we brought a lot of people in their twenties and thirties who don't go to church, and they were struck by this. I love it. I think we're on our way."(3)

1995

At the 1995 interfaith service that launched the URI, "holy water from the Ganges, the Amazon, the Red Sea, the River Jordan, and other sacred streams" (4) was mixed in a single "bowl of unity" on the altar of Grace Cathedral.(5) During the service, Bishop Swing made the meaning of the ritual clear. The San Francisco Chronicle reported: "'As these sacred waters find confluence here,' said Episcopal Bishop William Swing, 'may the city that chartered the nations of the world bring together the religions of the world'."(6)

The world is moving toward "unity in terms of global economy, global media, global ecological system. What is missing is a global soul."(7)

1996

"I think that as we become one global unit, we have to find out where religion is in regard to our global tribe."(8)

"The nature of the United Religions would be to focus on: 1) the whole human family; 2) the whole health of our planet; and 3) the whole realm of living species, and to offer the unique gifts of religions." (9)

"It would not be in the interest of the whole earth for a United Religions to become a political debating society with a right-wing or left-wing bias."(10)

"The creation of a United Religions" would "set the world's hope ablaze to imagine a religious, global sensitivity to all life instead of despairing over the present fragmentation that exists among guardians of the world's soul." (11)

The world needs a United Religions "because some day, the ascendancy of militant fundamentalist voices of politically aspiring religions might be so pervasive that a United Religions will need to be created in order to save religions from their ethnic, tribal agendas."(12)

"The religions of the world should aspire to be as moral as the nations of the world and meet regularly to strive for global good."(13)

The world's youth "walk around trying to piece enough religion together to make decisions about the future. They add a little yoga to the words of The Prophet. A little Catechism to a little Dharma. They will find their way eventually because humanity has always stretched to find its soul in new and foreign settings. One way or another, in Bangalore or in your grandchild, a United Religions will happen." (14)

"Now the world is drowning in people. You can see it plainly. Pakistan is only the size of Texas, and yet it is the 8th most populated country in the world. ... All through the middle of the earth, we are drowning in people. Ironically, the water shortage will tell us when the flood has begun. The great miracle of birth is, by sheer magnitude of numbers, reversing the Noah story."(15)

"I marvel that I am standing here talking about something that has never happened in the world and almost everyone who has had access to my ears has told me will never happen. ... Today indeed is a special moment. Credulity trembles. And delirious hope gasps for a first breath. An entire new life for the world beckons us to step ahead."(16)

"We want to enlist your imagination to become pioneers on a spiritual quest to serve all of God's creation beginning with religions and ending with religions. ... To attempt to expand the thinking patterns of religions is a daunting task of highest challenge. ... Today is the first day of a long march toward coalition binding around the vision."(17)

"The quickest recognition for the creation of a United Religions came from ambassadors and diplomats. Also politicians, economists, scientists (especially ecologists) were most supportive. ... The most basic issue is whether or not a religion believes that the world holds together in an ultimate unity. ... The sooner we can get religions to come together to serve the common good, the sooner global issues will have a chance for solution."(18)

"There is not going to be a time in the near future when one religion converts, conquers, subjugates all of the other religions to itself."(19)

"When the fundamentalists join the family of the world, they will bring great gifts ... They are not the enemy."(20)

Bishop Swing describes Hans Küng, a dissident Catholic theologian, as "the prime spokesperson for Vatican II and the single most important person who has written volumes on interfaith and ecumenical matters."(21)

"I do believe that one can get to God by many ways. Nevertheless, when one gets to God, I believe that nothing about the Divine is contradicted by Jesus Christ."(22)

"We don't bring Christ to the world; Christ created the world. We [Christians] come with a community and a vocabulary."(23)

"We're talking about salvation history here. If I'm wrong, I'm dead wrong."(24)

"I can see the year 2000 coming with soulful urgency, the world on the verge of the first global civilization, spiritual refugees wandering the earth seeking a symbol of hope. I do believe that at the bottom of religions there is a treasure chest of hope which the world yearns for. ... I can see the day of a United Religions."(25)

"For the sake of all the children of the world we are going to learn a new way for religions to interact. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians - all - all of us will learn to live beside each other. Everyone will be invited to bring their best, richest, deepest stories to the common ground. And there we will build."(26)

1997

"The participants must include those who align with modern spiritual movements, which unlike the traditional world religions include women. The contributors should also include the growing group of those who claim that they are 'not religious but are spiritual,' said Swing. Agnostics would also be a viable addition for the People of the United Religions Initiative. In a diverse climate, with the inconsistencies, the blood thirstiness and the concern for control, it is no wonder that there are 'earnest agnostics,' said Swing."(27)

"If you go with the great religions, you have men only. If you go with modern spiritual movements, you have women as well." (28)

"Swing: 'Maybe we have to take a deeper look at theology. I think that religions are based on assumptions of truth being mediated from the creator to the created. These truths are divinely inspired and sacred for the people who hold them. I think all the religions of the world have a blind spot. If there's a United Religions pursuing a dialogue in depth, it begins to ask larger questions and force religions to make larger statements.' Interviewer: 'Isn't a lot of the problem that many sacred scriptures are full of violent, exclusionary rhetoric?' Swing: 'That's right. And it's taught all week long, every place we go. The religions have to go back and read that one more time and ask if that is really what they believe. If you're sitting there with people from other religions at the table, you might come up with other conclusions'."(29)

"I've been working with people, religious leaders around the world, and a lot of them have cautioned me to stay away from prayer and theology. When we get to Stanford, I doubt if we're going to spend a lot of time talking about theology or prayer. I think we're going to be hunting for common values that spring from theology, but not the theology itself. Because I don't think we'll ever agree on the theology." (30)

"We don't need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for new buildings. San Francisco still might be a 'symbolic place to put a letterhead and office."(31)

United Religions would be "a deep new source of hope and healing for people and the earth itself."(32)

"If you have come here because a spirit of colossal energy is being born in the loins of earth, then come here and be a midwife. Assist, in awe, at the birth of new hope."(33)

"What if we said 'We will investigate the foundation of the religions and live into a growing religious dialogue. We will pursue this dialogue until we have lived into a new peace among religions. We will so pursue peace among religions until we have discovered a new peace among nations."(34)

"A United Religions could offer the world a powerful new vision of hope - the vision that the deepest stories we know can now cease to be causes of separation between people, and become instead the foundation for a reunited humanity."(35)

At the 1997 diocesan convention, Bishop Swing likened "the insane expansion of population" to exponential growth of algae in a lake. (36)

"I intend to keep thinking globally and acting locally. Now my diocese is Pinole and Padua. Kyoto and Concord. Oxford and Ohlhoff House."(37)

1998

Swing described the awareness that the diocesan China Friendship Committee wishes to foster among local parishioners: "The Diocese of California has a small China Friendship Committee which hopes to expand awareness in our congregations of religions in China. Such topics as: Christianity that is expanding too fast...Chinese Catholic vs. Roman Catholic...Southern Baptist's [sic] secret missionary plot...five official religions...Rule of Law granting religious freedom...Islamic breakaway efforts...Tibet politics and religion...post-denominational Christianity...rise of Christian fundamentalism."(38) [All ellipses are in the original text.]

"The question is can we stand the generosity of God in that he reveals himself to other people in the world through other symbols and through other stories?" (39)

"We are embarked on a mission to do something unprecedented in human history."(40)

Bishop Swing said that "ninety-nine percent" of URI funding "is raised from private, non religious sources," and "additional support sometimes has come from surprising places."(41)

Swing: "I can respect a Hindu as a Hindu worships, but I don't worship what the Hindu worships." Interviewer: "So then do you attempt to convert the Hindu?" Swing: "I think we have got to take a look at proselytizing. Is God best served by proselytizing the way we do it now through all kinds of questionable means, as well as good means, or whether there are other ways of proselytizing."(42)

"When He [God] gets to the whole business of thou shall have no other gods but me, what do we do with that? I think there is a truth about that which has to be lived at a new level. ... And the issues around exclusivity are some of the issues that we are going to have to come to a new understanding about in a new day."(43)

"There is going to come a time when the world is just going to insist that religions grow up and begin to talk to each other for the sake of global good and global harmony."(44)

"Religions need a United Religions. Bombs are exploding in the name of God in cities throughout the world, religious persecution is more prevalent now than ever before, religious extremists are demanding and obtaining nuclear weapons, and still there is no neutral arena where all of the religions can engage each other."(45)

"There is just enough help from non-religious resources: Case Western School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio; Dee Hock, founder of the VISA Card; the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, where the URI office is located; plus individuals from around the world who produce 99.4% of all contributions that URI receives."(46)

United Religions will be inevitable "when the world has run out of options; when it is clear that the missing ingredient in authentic diplomacy is religion. ... The only reason there would ever be a United Religions is that the stark world demands it. The time of that demand is getting close."(47)

"What is a bigger terrorist threat than religion in the world today? There is none."(48)

Bishop Swing's 1998 book, "The Coming United Religions"

The URI "now has strong backing from the religious, philanthropic, cultural, and private sectors of the San Francisco Bay Area."(49)

Bishop Swing quotes from his own translation of the Vatican II document Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) to support the URI: "The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions, (and) has high regard for their conduct and way of life for those precepts and doctrines which, although differing on many points from that (which) the Church believes and propounds, often reflect a ray of that truth that enlightens all men."(50) Bishop Swing did not quote the very next sentence from Nostra Aetate: "Yet she [the Church] proclaims and is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 1:6). In him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2 Cor. 5:18-19), men find the fulness of their religious life."(51)

"If there is to be a United Religions, the original impetus and expertise will have to come from fields other than religion. Left to their own devices, religions will not meet each other. But given outside assistance from multiple disciplines which are already functioning on a global basis and have learned to work around and beyond existing roadblocks, religions can move toward common ground."(52)

"Originally I thought that the impetus for the coming together of religions would be finding a common moral voice and taking mutual action - without getting into the areas associated with spirituality: meditation, contemplative prayer, sacred writings, end-time hopes, wisdom, etc. But I no longer think that. If there is ever going to be a United Religions it will only happen because the Ultimate Ground of Being wills it. ... A United Religions will either have a distinct spiritual momentum far beyond its own cleverness or it simply will not be."(53)

To call forth our courage and imagination on behalf of the URI, Bishop Swing quotes from the prologue of Goethe's Faust: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."(54)

Bishop Swing sees Hans Küng's document, "Toward a Global Ethic," as a basis for a new ethic that will be sponsored by "all religions and spiritual movements."(55) This ethic will be defined after the United Religions is launched, because, as Bishop Swing says, "If a universal Declaration of a Global Ethos is brought forth without the underpinnings of an enduring global institution, it will lack gravity and binding power. A Declaration is derivative. Its creation and its continuance must rest on an abiding, global institution and on global acceptance."(56)

Bishop Swing identifies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the religions that include the Ten Commandments in their tradition, as "exclusive religions."(57) These are the religions that bid their followers: " 'Thou shalt have no other gods but me.' Is any dimension of religion deeper than that? This is the first commandment according to Jews and Christians. It is not foreign to Muslims, or, in fact, to more than half the people on earth. Yet if billions of people from exclusive religions are commanded to oppose the godly claims of other exclusive religions, what hope is there for peace among religions? In order for a United Religions to come about and for religions to pursue peace among each other, there will have to be a godly cease-fire, a temporary truce where the absolute exclusive claims of each will be honored but an agreed upon neutrality will be exercised in terms of proselytizing, condemning, murdering, or dominating. These will not be tolerated in the United Religions zone."(58)

When Bishop Swing preached the United Religions message to a Bible study class at the Maramon, a week-long revival meeting of the Mar Toma Church in Southern India: "In an instant, the little Bible study turned into a wild scene of interrogative and declarative assertions. Hundreds of energized people with Bibles in their hands came hurrying out of the jungle. They had come together at the Maramon in order to excite a passion to go out and convert every Hindu and Moslem possible. And here I was stating that the religions, themselves, need to come together and discover a new level of interacting. This, clearly, was perceived to be a threat to proselytizing."(59)

In Bishop Swing's illustration of the nature of religion, six lines represent the major faiths - Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and the indigenous religions; like multiple paths up a mountain, these lines converge from below on a single point, a divine "unity which transcends the world."(60) At the top of the mountain are the esoteric believers from each faith; they: "intuit that they were ultimately in unity with people of other religions because all come together at the apex, in the Divine. Everyone below the line would be identified as exoteric. These people in all religions would wed the form of faith to the content or final truth of their own faith. Thus the forms of one's faith become absolutized because these forms, alone, are held to carry the truth."(61)

"In the same way that the United Nations is not a nation, the United Religions would not be a religion."(62)

"In the United Religions: a) Silent respect would be rendered to every religion as each pursues its sacred path. b) That Which Binds Us Is Beyond Us. As each religion renders silent respect to other religions, the rising mutual sympathy will lead to the discovery of a unifying mystery. c) That Which Is Beyond Us Will Bind Us. The unifying mystery that will be discovered will persuade religions of an ever-increasing kinship with each other and with all life."(63)

"The time comes, though, when common language and a common purpose for all religions and spiritual movements must be discerned and agreed upon. Merely respecting and understanding other religions is not enough."(64)

"The United Religions will not be a rejection of ancient religion but will be found buried in the depths of these religions."(65)

The URI "seeks to honor the ancient and recent wisdom and good works of each"(66) of the world's religions.

"Will the population problems of this earth ever be solved without the best wisdom, strength, and actions of religions working together?"(67)

"What the world fails to deal with is the unmitigated prejudice against people of religions. There is no such word as religionism, yet the reality is overwhelming beyond all measure. The existence of a United Religions will be a symbol that stands in direct opposition to the ancient, corrosive, and widespread hatred against religions that thrives, unchecked by religions. This global denial will end when the United Religions begins. Not only will the United Religions be a symbol of hope, it will also be a symbol that religionism exists and will be countered."(68)

1999

Bishop Swing told the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in May 1999 that the three principles agreed upon by the founders of the URI in 1996 were: "1. we will be a grass roots movement; 2. it has to be men and women together; 3. invite religions and spiritual movements together - right from the beginning."(69) "Asked how the URI would handle cults, Bishop Swing answered that the United Religions would probably look a little like Alcoholics Anonymous" 'very diffuse.' He added that 'In United Religions, if you can abide by the purpose and principle, then you can get together. Once you open the door, you have to keep it open.' " (70)

"We want to make sure that Jerusalem is seen in the largest context - not only as a major center for three religions, but also as a force in the global interfaith conversation that is emerging." (71)

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Great men attract talented followers; their works also deserve recognition. Here, therefore, are some quotations from the Rev. Charles Gibbs, Executive Director of the URI, and from the Rev. William Rankin, Vice President of the URI.

Fr. Charles Gibbs

1997

"There is increasingly a realization all around the world, not only among religious leaders but among politicians and scientists and business leaders, that if there is not a firm foundation in values, that if there isn't a deep spirituality that informs the choices we make and how we move into a global civilization, our time on earth may well be limited. We can't afford to continue to live the way we have been. All over you hear a call for religion and for deep spiritual values to join this dialogue."(72)

When asked, "Is the United Religions intended to be a political movement? Will it be working with political leaders to help resolve conflict?," Gibbs replied, "I can't see how it would not be. ... Ideally, a well-established United Religions and the values it would embody would have a powerful impact on the work politicians do."(73)

Gibbs said that "indigenous religions" would be included in the URI "the same way everyone else would be involved. ... I was just in Oxford and we were talking about indigenous religions. Well, the indigenous religion there is the Druid faith."(74)

"If your sense of orthodoxy as a Christian, for example, is grounded in the belief that Christianity is the one and only path to salvation, you have to come to terms with that. ... If the work of United Religions for a long time gets entangled in doctrine, dogma, and theology, we might as well forget it."(75)

At the 1996 summit conference, Richard Barrett, from the World Bank, said, "It is important for the religions of the world to unite in order to have a unified voice of values which can be taken to the negotiating table in the major international organizations we have."(76) Fr. Gibbs reported that one of Barrett's requests was fulfilled at a May, 1997 URI conference in New York City; participants decided "to plan a gathering at the UN to explore the role the UR might have in advising and supporting global organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF [International Monetary Fund]."(77) Gibbs said that conference participants also made plans to "support sacred earth values in a variety of ways."(78)

1998

Gibbs describes the proposed United Religions as "an inclusive, decentralized organization, a spiritual partner of the United Nations."(79)

1999

"I must acknowledge that, throughout the centuries, in seeking to love God and express the unity that is in God, many Christians have not honored the distinctness and validity of other religions, but have sought to make the whole world Christian. I confess that a tremendous amount of violence has been visited on the world by Christians aflame with the conviction that the only path to salvation is through proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all, and that it is the responsibility of Christians to make Christians of all people. I profoundly regret that violence."(80)

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William Rankin

1995

Regarding the ecclesiastical trial of Episcopal Bishop Walter Righter for ordaining an openly homosexual deacon, Rankin said, "Heresy implies orthodoxy, and we have no such thing in the Episcopal Church." (81)

1998

There have been "over 250 wars in this century, with nearly 110 millions killed as a result. ... Religious differences have caused or aggravated much of this."(82)

1999

"J. M. Yinger defines religion as 'a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with ultimate problems of human life. It expresses their refusal to capitulate to death, to give up in the face of frustration, to allow hostility to tear apart their human aspirations.' So far, so good."(83)

"In North Sudan the government, in some measure, is forced into strong Muslim identity by the history of overthrows when a more tolerant attitude was promulgated."(84)

"The United Religions Initiative exists to bring people together from all the religions of the world, to create a world where no one has to die because of God, or for God, any more."(85)

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With such leadership, how can the United Religions Initiative fail to achieve its goals?

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Footnotes:

NOTE: Internet document citations are based on research done between September 1997 and August 1999. Web citations are accurate as of the time the Web page was printed, but some documents may have been moved to a different Web site since then, or they may have been removed entirely from the Web.

1 Robert Muller, 2000 Ideas And Dreams For A Better World, Internet document, http://www.lsw.org/rm/v3adnl.htm#Messagetothe50thAnniversary - "PART IV THE FOURTEENTH ONE HUNDRED IDEA (IDEAS 1301 TO 1400) INTRODUCTION - The State of the World on Earth Day 2013 - Part I: World Situation and Inter-religious Co-operation in 2013, twenty years after the Second World's Parliament of Religions in 1993." (Citation verified 9/21/99)

2 Richard Scheinin and Matthew Fox, "Reinventing Ritual: The Planetary Mass," Creation Spirituality, Spring 1995, Vol. XI, no. 1, p. 28 (Richard Scheinin, "Multimedia imagery Techno-ambiant [sic] music It's the Planetary Mass")

3 Richard Scheinin and Matthew Fox, "Reinventing Ritual: The Planetary Mass," Creation Spirituality, Spring 1995, Vol. XI, no. 1, p. 30 ("Reactions")

4 Don Lattin, "Religions of World Celebrated With Prayers to Dozen Deities," San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1995, p. A1, front page section

5 Richard Scheinin, "Interfaith ceremony promotes world peace," San Jose Mercury News, June 26, 1995; Internet document, p. 2

6 Don Lattin, "Religions of World Celebrated With Prayers to Dozen Deities," San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1995, pp. A1 and A11, front page section

7 Bishop William Swing, "What is missing is a global soul," Pacific Church News, August/September 1995, p. 5

8 Richard Scheinin, "Bringing Together the 'United Religions': Episcopal Bishop Begins Tour to Build Support," San Jose Mercury News, page 11E, February 3, 1996, (p. 3 of Internet printout), ellipses are in the original text

9 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 1

10 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 1

11 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 3

12 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 3

13 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 3

14 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 10

15 Bishop William Swing, "Journeying where the soul of this world was born," Pacific Church News, April/May 1996, p. 31

16 Bishop William Swing, opening speech for the United Religions summit meeting, June 24-28, 1996, p. 1

17 Bishop William Swing, opening speech for the United Religions summit meeting, June 24-28, 1996, p. 4

18 Bishop William Swing, opening speech for the United Religions summit meeting, June 24-28, 1996, pp. 3, 5

19 Bishop William Swing, opening speech for the United Religions summit meeting, June 24-28, 1996, p. 5

20 Jorge Aquino (Religion News Service), "A Bold Attempt to Close Breach Between Religions," San Jose Mercury News, p. 11-E, June 29, 1996; Internet document, p. 2

21 Bishop William Swing, "The Surprise Factor," Pacific Church News, June/July 1996, p. 10

22 Bishop William Swing, "Magellan Was Headed In The Right Direction," Pacific Church News, June/July 1996, p. 12

23 From notes taken by Lee Penn of the speech given by Bishop Swing at the 9/11/96 meeting of the San Francisco Deanery for the Episcopal Diocese of California

24 From notes taken by Lee Penn of the speech given by Bishop Swing at the 9/11/96 meeting of the San Francisco Deanery for the Episcopal Diocese of California

25 Bishop William Swing, "Diocesan Convention Address," October 19, 1996, p. 12

26 Bishop William Swing, "A Message for all the People," URI pamphlet, excerpt from a sermon delivered by Bishop Swing on Christmas Eve of 1996 at Grace Cathedral, p. 2

27 Jennifer Shaw, "Bishop Offers New Religious Vision for 21st Century," Contra Costa Sun, news section, page 6, March 26, 1997

28 Don Lattin, interview with Bishop William Swing - "Bishop's Idea for a Leap of Faiths," San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1997, p. 3/Z1

29 Don Lattin, interview with Bishop William Swing - "Bishop's Idea for a Leap of Faiths," San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1997, p. 3/Z1, p. 3

30 Don Lattin, interview with Bishop William Swing - "Bishop's Idea for a Leap of Faiths," San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1997, p. 3/Z1

31 Richard Scheinin, "Faith in Dialogue: Leaders From World's Myriad Religions Gather at Stanford in Hopes of Transcending Beliefs, Borders With 'Spiritual UN'," San Jose Mercury News, June 23, 1997, front section, page 1A

32 Bishop William Swing, "Invitation Letter," Journal of the United Religions Initiative, issue 3, Summer 1997, p. 3

33 Bishop William Swing, "Opening Address" to the 1997 URI summit conference; Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/youth/welcome/swingspeech.htm, p. 2

34 Bishop William Swing, "Opening Address" to the 1997 URI summit conference; Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/youth/welcome/swingspeech.htm, p. 3

35 Bishop William Swing, remarks to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, November 4, 1997; Internet version, obtained by a search of deja.com news group postings

36 Bishop William Swing, "Excerpts: Bishop's Address [to the 1997 Diocesan convention]," Pacific Church News, December 1997/January 1998, p. 34

37 Bishop William Swing, "Excerpts: Bishop's Address" [to 1997 Convention of the Diocese of California], Pacific Church News, December 1997/January 1998, p. 35

38 Bishop William Swing, "China: A Quick Trip for Two Conversations 3/4 November 17-21, 1997," Pacific Church News, February/March 1998, p. 5

39 Carol Barnwell, " 'United Religions' is Bishop Swing's goal," The Lambeth Daily, Issue 4, 22 July 1998; Internet document, http://anglican.org/online/Lambeth-Daily/22/UR.html, p. 1

40 Carol Barnwell, " 'United Religions' is Bishop Swing's goal," The Lambeth Daily, Issue 4, 22 July 1998; Internet document, http://anglican.org/online/Lambeth-Daily/22/UR.html, p. 2

41 Carol Barnwell, " 'United Religions' is Bishop Swing's goal," The Lambeth Daily, Issue 4, 22 July 1998; Internet document, http://anglican.org/online/Lambeth-Daily/22/UR.html, p. 2

42 Baxter and Sax, (first names not stated), "Exclusive Interview: Bishop William Swing, Head of the United Religions Organization," Endtime, July/August 1998, Internet document, http://www.endtime.com/bishop.htm, p. 8

43 Baxter and Sax, (first names not stated), "Exclusive Interview: Bishop William Swing, Head of the United Religions Organization," Endtime, July/August 1998, Internet document, http://www.endtime.com/bishop.htm, pp. 9, 10

44 Baxter and Sax, (first names not stated), "Exclusive Interview: Bishop William Swing, Head of the United Religions Organization," Endtime, July/August 1998, Internet document, http://www.endtime.com/bishop.htm, p. 11

45 Bishop William Swing, "Let's Pursue Peace With Islam," San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, October 14, 1998, p. A21

46 "Bishop Swing Addresses World Congress of Faiths: Raises Possibility That URI Might Play A Role in Salt Lake City Olympics Opening Ceremony," Pacific Church News, December 1998/January 1999, p. 39

47 "Bishop Swing Addresses World Congress of Faiths: Raises Possibility That URI Might Play A Role in Salt Lake City Olympics Opening Ceremony," Pacific Church News, December 1998/January 1999, p. 39

48 Colleen O'Connor, "Uniting Religions: Bishop Swing talks about religious terrorism, atomic bombs, and why we need a United Religions now," Internet document, http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment/interviews/index.shtml, p. 2

49 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 14

50 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 17.

51 Austin Flannery, O.P., General Editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, 1992 rev. ed., Costello Publishing Company, Northpoint, New York, ISBN 0-918344-15-8; Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, 28 October 1965, section 2, p. 739

52 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 18

53 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9, p. 22

54 Goethe, from the Prologue of Faust, as quoted by Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 28

55 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 27

56 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 44

57 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 31

58 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 31

59 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 33

60 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; pp. 58-59

61 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 59

62 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 62

63 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 63

64 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 63

65 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 64

66 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 70

67 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 71

68 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 73

69 Dennis Delman, "For the Sake of the Children, We've Got to Talk," Bishop Swing Tells Commonwealth Club Gathering," Pacific Church News, August/September 1999, p. 25

70 Dennis Delman, "For the Sake of the Children, We've Got to Talk," Bishop Swing Tells Commonwealth Club Gathering," Pacific Church News, August/September 1999, p. 25

71 Elaine Ruth Fletcher, "S.F. group's interfaith meeting draws Dalai Lama to Jerusalem," San Francisco Examiner, June 11, 1999, page A-2; Internet version; downloaded from http://www.sfgate.com, p. 1

72 Kristen Fairchild, "If a United Nations, Why Not a United Religions: An Interview With Charles Gibbs," The Spire, February 1997, http://www.gracecom.org/thespire/textures/gibbs1.html, p. 5

73 Kristen Fairchild, "If a United Nations, Why Not a United Religions: An Interview With Charles Gibbs," The Spire, February 1997, http://www.gracecom.org/thespire/textures/gibbs1.html, p. 6

74 Kristen Fairchild, "If a United Nations, Why Not a United Religions: An Interview With Charles Gibbs," The Spire, February 1997, http://www.gracecom.org/thespire/textures/gibbs2.html, p. 4

75 Kristen Fairchild, "If a United Nations, Why Not a United Religions: An Interview With Charles Gibbs," The Spire, February 1997, Part 2, Internet document, http://www/gracecom.org/thespire/textures/gibbs2.html, pp. 5, 6

76 Daniel Sneider, "United Nations of Clerics?: Religious Leaders Envision 'Spiritual UN'," Christian Science Monitor, July 18, 1996, p. 3

77 Charles Gibbs, "Regional Conferences Prepare for URI Global Summit," Pacific Church News, August/September 1997, p. 23

78 Charles Gibbs, "Regional Conferences Prepare for URI Global Summit," Pacific Church News, August/September 1997, p. 23

79 United Religions Initiative, "United Religions Draft Charter June 1998-June 1999," pamphlet issued by the URI in the fall of 1998, "Introduction to the Draft Charter" section

80 Charles Gibbs, "An Ethical Mandate for the United Religions," Journal of the United Religions Initiative, Issue 5 (spring 1999), p. 11

81 As quoted by Witness magazine (a liberal Episcopal magazine), December 1995, p. 36

82 Bill Rankin, "URI Fundraising - What is Our Role," URI News Update, fall 1998, p. 2

83 The Center for Progressive Christianity, "President's Report, February 1999," section on the United Religions Initiative by William Rankin, Internet document, http://www.tcpc.org/newsFeb99.html, p. 6

84 The Center for Progressive Christianity, "President's Report, February 1999," section on the United Religions Initiative by William Rankin, Internet document, http://www.tcpc.org/newsFeb99.html, p. 7

85 The Center for Progressive Christianity, "President's Report, February 1999," section on the United Religions Initiative by William Rankin, Internet document, http://www.tcpc.org/newsFeb99.html, p. 8

 

 

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