Speaking as a Muslim, I would say that one should first learn about his own faith beyond basic knowledge and proofs, if you don’t, then speaking from experience, you may leave your religion, only to regret doing so later. However, if someone’s level knowledge of their own religion is quite high, then to refuse learning about other religions, in my opinion, may perhaps be a sign of insecurity in your own faith. Of course when learning about another religion, try to learn objectively, it is understandable to have a bias towards your own religion and I’m not saying you shouldn’t, but if you try to learn about something with a complete bias against it, you may miss any beneficial knowledge that may actually be there, and instead reject something simply because there was a latent refusable to understand it; and of course, if you disagree with something, by gaining a better understanding of it, you may be able to better refute it.
I am glad you shared this because you should be able to identify with me as well when I say that studying Catholicism has given me more appreciation for my own upbringing and church. It is an interesting experience.
Have you read the Church Fathers?
It will probably be confusing at times. Because each religion has a “world view” that justifies their position.
And there is a spiritual aspect to most.
Is there not some Catholic teaching or statement (somewhere - Vatican II?) that the established world religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam all have a sort of spark of divinity, diamond in the rough? In other words, God did reveal some elements, some grace, basic concepts, good, evil, to other peoples in other times? This is how we explain the potential salvation of non Catholics - why would God only save this one set of individuals, sending all others to hell. That is such an offensive argument. Doesn’t make God look too good either.
Yes there is. See Nostra Aetate:
Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination.
The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
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