Several religious figures and scholars have discussed at length how the world’s different religions all share fundamental similarities. The nuances of these shared aspects can be complex, but religious scholar Reza Aslan is able to boil down the common element to a single sentence, which he shares with Oprah during an interview for OWN’s “SuperSoul Sunday.”
“It’s the Golden Rule,” Aslan says. “Do unto others.”
This principle isn’t just a decree that religions allude to, he continues. In many cases, it is explicitly written.
“Almost every major religion in the world has a sentence, a commandment that is a version of, ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you,’” Aslan says.
What’s also interesting to the scholar is the civil morality embedded within religion. “Morally speaking, there’s this incredible connective tissue around all of these different religions, because all of them are focused on how to live a life of value in a community,” Aslan says. “Because religion is a communal thing. Faith is individual, religion is communal.”
As much as he appreciates the beauty of this concept, Aslan is even more fascinated by the mystic elements that religions have in common.
“Whether you’re talking about Sufi mystics in Islam or Jewish mystics or Christian mystics or Hindu mystics, when you hear them speak, they all say the exact same thing,” he says. “’Get past the religion.’ The religion is important, but you have to break free of it if you truly want to connect with the divine.”
“SuperSoul Sunday” airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.
Another insight from a religious scholar: