Stage 6 - Universalising Faith

In “Aleph” and the analysis in terms of the stages of faith development according to Fowler (1981), it can be emphasised that Stage 6, “the universalising faith” (Fowler, 1981; Croucher, 2010), is not reached or addressed in the book. Coelho does not see himself as a whole person, regardless of social class, nationality, gender, age, political ideology, race and religion (Fowler & Dell, 2004). He talks about “being a foreigner” (Coelho, 2011, p. 270), which is a concept that always uses social class, cultural, racial and religious boundaries as reference frames. However, Coelho feels like an insider among the travellers on the train, connected to all the human beings in the world. Coelho generally stays within the framework of the concepts of insider and outsider.

In “Aleph”, Coelho emphasises a holistic love concept and that he loves Hilal like a river, based on an overall love. However, he does not aim at any self-sacrifice, altruistic values or the support of others. He stays within the self-centred development concept, without a deeper interest in the nurturing and development of others - he even needs his Russian friend to remind him of his social responsibility (Coelho, 2011, p. 60). No selfless service, as described as central for this stage (Croucher, 2010), can be found in the actions, thoughts or reflections of Coelho in “Aleph”. However, Coelho redevelops his faith in God as a grounded principle in life. It can nevertheless not be determined whether this principle of God turns into overall respect for and valuing of others (Fowler, 1987). Coelho has proven that he can see the world from various perspectives; however, a decentralisation of self and values, as emphasised by Burnell (2013), cannot be recognised. Stage 6 is not addressed in the book.

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