Splendid news! With, it is hinted, Vatican approval, an Abrahamic House is to be created in Abu Dabi, containing a Synagogue, a Church, and a Mosque.
There is perhaps, from the pedantic point of view, something slightly lopsided about this project. Since Sacrifice came early in the 'Abrahamic' tradition, you might have thought that a Hebrew Temple would need to feature largely. After all, Judaism did not become a 'synagogue' religion until after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in AD 70. So what about Abrahamic sacrifices? Where will they be offered?
However, I do not wish to dwell upon this problem. I thought I would simply remind readers that this lovely idea ... technically known as Syncretism ... goes back a long way. S Bede records that Reduald, King of East Anglia, having been nagged a bit by his gloriously Ecumenical wife, created a very open-minded religious complex (fanum). In it, there was an altare ad sacrificium Christi. But it also contained an arula for the victimae, the sacrificial animals of the daemoniorum. 'Daemoniorum' undobtedly refers to the divinities of Anglo-Saxon paganism.
Arula is a jolly word. It is the diminutive of ara, an altar. But in Latin, diminutives indicate either smallness; or affection; or contempt. Given S Bede's depressingly blinkered religious outlook, I have no doubt that he meant it as a contemptuous reference to the sacrificial stones of heathendom.
I wonder if King Reduald provided a single Presbytery for the Christian and the pagan clergy both to inhabit. There could have been a rota just inside the door, indicating for each day who was to say the Mass at the Christ Altar and who was to slaughter the animals at the arula of Frigga.
Or did they concelebrate?