Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative Religion

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

In this study, I have attempted to define Messianic Judaism, Evangelical Feminism, and Unity School of Christianity as bridge-faiths. A bridge-faith is a term that I use to identify a faith in which the adherents have consciously and deliberately blended a substantial portion of elements from two or more distinct faiths or ideologies, into a new faith. I have devoted one chapter to each faith in an effort to create, in words, a type of portrait. With the three portraits in place, I was able to conduct a comparative analysis between these faiths. In this Analysis, I sought to identify any similarities between these faiths, and then speculated on which similarities I believe have contributed to their bridge-faith development. Some of the similarities that I found are as follows: they all blend some form of Christianity, they are all American traditions, they all perceive their beliefs as being harmonious, and they all attempt to legitimize their theological positions through various methods. The differences included: Unity is more theologically modern than the other two, Unity attempts to blend multiple distinct traditions, whereas the other two only blend two distinct traditions/ideologies, and Unity has a founder while the other two do not. By identifying the differences, I was able to rule out certain features as not being necessary for Bridge-faith development.

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