- Part I: All the great religions have a universal component, affirming that all persons have a relation to God from where they stand.
- Part II: All the great religions are subject to the temptation of chauvinism, of claiming that theirs is the exclusive way, and that outsiders are to be subject to various kinds of penalties, whether discrimination and persecution in this world, or damnation in eternity.
- Part III: All the great religions, in the fullness of time and understanding, come to develop from within their own resources of spiritual strength, a medicine for their own illness, a religious cure for their own chauvinistic tendencies. This cure proceeds from their initial recognition of God’s infinite love for all God’s creatures, and works out the implications of that premise through to the practical applications of tolerance, acceptance, and full affirmation of the “others” in their very difference.
Judaism addressed the question of its relation to the outsider since its inception. Judaism saw itself as based in one people, the people of Israel. What I said in my first address about the Pharisees as a party of religious and ethical elitists, applies to Judaism generally. Israel saw itself from the outset as a people set apart for a special task, a particular people dedicated to the service of the universal God. The God of Israel is the God of all the universe, and of all humanity; there is no other God. Whatever God does is for the purpose ultimately of benefiting all humanity. This is the universalistic side of the Jewish vision. The particularistic aspect may be summed up in the notion that Israel or Jewry sees itself as having a unique role to play in the story of human salvation, and as being therefore special and privileged by virtue of that unique role. Privilege connotes both rights and obligations.