Convergenism is derived from the word convergence which in turn is derived from the two latin roots “com” and “verge”. “Com” meaning “together” or “in association” and “verge” meaning “to tend” or “to incline”. Put them together, and we have my new word. Except for one small part. I’ve thrown in a powerful little suffix called “ism”. I had a hard time justifying to myself that I wanted to turn my word into an “ism”. Isms are are distinctive theories, practices and doctrines. I think by doing so, I’ve clubbed this set of beliefs in with all other religions. However, my goal is not to define a new set of religious practices, theories, and/or doctrines. I wish to share my hypothesis.
First, a little background. I grew up in a semi-orthodox Christian home. As of the age of 11, I thought I was Christian. I remember sitting on the swing in our backyard with my dog, Blackie, and explaining to him why I wanted to be Christian. When I had convinced Blackie that I really wanted to be Christian, I prayed “the prayer”, and I must admit that a soothing calm came over me. Almost a sense of relief (or realization) that my life was no different than it was 10 seconds ago. So that’s my testimony.
Now I have a little bit of a different testimony. When I was in college, I took a class on Eastern Religion. This class was supposed to be an easy mythology class. After all, I was Christian and firmly believed that the Bible was the truth and all other religions were as mythological as Zeus himself. After the first week, I started to realize something amazing. The other students in the class actually believed in the stories we were hearing. How could they be so irrational? In high school when we study Greek and Roman mythology, no one stood up and vouched for the existence of Apollo. No one said that they were firm believers in the story of Hercules. But here in this Eastern Religions class, people were defending their religions with as much zeal as I would use to defend my own. Now, despite being utterly religious, I pride myself in being rational and logical in my thought process. At this particular moment, it struck me that ration and logic dictate I question my own faith.
Faith is one of the most powerful concepts in the world. Our society and civilization is built on the shoulders of those that came before us. Faith is the belief that those shoulders are able to support us. Contrary to popular belief, religious faith has nothing to do with a belief in a God. Faith has everything to do with a belief in men and their completely human interpretation of what they perceived to be God.
My faith dictated that all other faiths are wrong. My logic dictated that my faith was crap. Thus, my logic won out and I became an agnostic. Agnosticism is the belief that you don’t have a belief. This is the equivalent of saying that I do not trust the “shoulders” in my analogy above. This is perfectly fine if you are in stasis. At some point, one realizes that stasis is boring as hell, and one tries to find some support (some faith) with which to build. But my faith had to be founded on logic in order for it to be real. In the past two years, my search for support has led me to convergenism, and I am almost ready to start building with it as my foundation.
Convergenism is the hypothesis that all followers of the major world religions are, in actuality, studying and worshipping the same God.