He is Jewish, Christian, AND Muslim

Sean Stone, son of the conspiracy-theorist filmmaker Oliver Stone, has converted to Islam in a ceremony held in Iran.  But, he says, that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a Christian.  And a Jew.

A U.S. filmmaker who has a Jewish father and Christian mother today decided to convert to Islam in Iran, where he is making a documentary.

But Sean Stone, 27, son of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, insisted the switch did not signal him abandoning the faiths of his parents.

He became a Shiite Muslim on Tuesday and has reportedly chosen to be known by the first name of ‘Ali’, but will not reveal why he converted.

‘The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with,’ Mr Stone told news agency Agence France-Presse.

‘It means I have accepted Mohammad and other prophets,’ Mr Stone added from Isfahan, Iran, where the conversion ceremony was carried out.

He is working on a film about Rumi, a mystic poet, and has defended Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the past, reported Foreign Policy.

via Oliver Stone’s son becomes a Muslim… but insists he’s holding onto Judaism and Christianity | Mail Online.

Rumi!  So that’s it.  He has become a favorite in “spiritual but not religious” circles.

Notice that “Ali” assumes that Christianity and Judaism are religions one is born with.  That can, perhaps, work with Judaism, but Christianity has to involve some kind of personal faith.  And yet this is a common perception, I have noticed, that religion is not so much a set of beliefs–which might be in conflict with other religions’ beliefs–but rather something equivalent to ethnic identity or genetic heritage.

Watch for more conversions to Islam from New Age fans of Rumi.  Of course, the Americanized New Age version–which allows for holding many other and contradictory beliefs at the same time, as well as, I suspect, a rather more permissive moral code–will be different from orthodox Islam, just as the New Age versions of Eastern religion are far tamer than actual Hinduism and Buddhism.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27)

    I’m guessing Sean Stone’s answer is, “Jesus wasn’t the Messiah … but as prophesied, he was born of a Virgin, true God and true man … but he was just a man chosen to be the prophet to the Jews.”

  • Tom Hering

    “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27)

    I’m guessing Sean Stone’s answer is, “Jesus wasn’t the Messiah … but as prophesied, he was born of a Virgin, true God and true man … but he was just a man chosen to be the prophet to the Jews.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Sounds like Bahai.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Sounds like Bahai.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Why not?

    Anything goes!

    Wait until he runs into some devout Muslims who have a problem with his schizo-identity.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Why not?

    Anything goes!

    Wait until he runs into some devout Muslims who have a problem with his schizo-identity.

  • SKPeterson

    Rumi was a Sufi – so we’ll see how well Ali does with the Shi’a. Some Sufi’s are Shi’a, but they’re a lot more liberal than the hardliners. An, it is true, Rumi is a favorite amongst the “spiritual, but not religious” crowd. Many of his books and analyses of his poetry are published in America by Shambhala Publications – a hotbed of Tibetan Buddhist publications. So, as sg notes, very Baha’i in the ecumenicism here.

    I also posit, that this may not be a conversion, but a “conversion.” Allowing him to say with a somewhat straight face that he’s part of the religious community and should be given some preferential access to archives, etc. while making his film.

  • SKPeterson

    Rumi was a Sufi – so we’ll see how well Ali does with the Shi’a. Some Sufi’s are Shi’a, but they’re a lot more liberal than the hardliners. An, it is true, Rumi is a favorite amongst the “spiritual, but not religious” crowd. Many of his books and analyses of his poetry are published in America by Shambhala Publications – a hotbed of Tibetan Buddhist publications. So, as sg notes, very Baha’i in the ecumenicism here.

    I also posit, that this may not be a conversion, but a “conversion.” Allowing him to say with a somewhat straight face that he’s part of the religious community and should be given some preferential access to archives, etc. while making his film.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This is like saying Matthew Stafford is the quarterback next season for the Lions, Packers, and Bears…

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This is like saying Matthew Stafford is the quarterback next season for the Lions, Packers, and Bears…

  • MarkB

    SG @2, ” Sounds like Bahai.”
    Yes it does since the Baha’is believe in the progression of religion. Therefore Judaism is the precursor of Christianity, which is the precursor of Islam and Islam is the precursor to Baabism, which is a precursor to Baha’i ism. Each leader is considered an Avitar and the progression does not start with Judaism according to the Baha’is. The Baha’is believe there are 9 religions in this progression.

  • MarkB

    SG @2, ” Sounds like Bahai.”
    Yes it does since the Baha’is believe in the progression of religion. Therefore Judaism is the precursor of Christianity, which is the precursor of Islam and Islam is the precursor to Baabism, which is a precursor to Baha’i ism. Each leader is considered an Avitar and the progression does not start with Judaism according to the Baha’is. The Baha’is believe there are 9 religions in this progression.

  • DonS

    I saw a story on a reality star a couple of days ago — she said that they are Jewish, but also have adopted many Buddhist tenets. They call themselves “Jewdists”.

  • DonS

    I saw a story on a reality star a couple of days ago — she said that they are Jewish, but also have adopted many Buddhist tenets. They call themselves “Jewdists”.

  • Tom Hering

    “The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with,” Mr. Stone told news agency Agence France-Presse.

    “Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not ‘Every man for himself.’ And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.” – A Fish Called Wanda

  • Tom Hering

    “The conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism, which I was born with,” Mr. Stone told news agency Agence France-Presse.

    “Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not ‘Every man for himself.’ And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.” – A Fish Called Wanda

  • kenneth

    Weighing in on a subject that is rounded by the question of the philosophy of religion I must say there is nothing new here. I suppose even Judaism in the form of the Pharsees were for progressive religion. a way to obtain salvation for onesself and if as diligent as one can be for relatives and friends alike.

    It just cannot be such as so many religions have thought, that is that man can obtain through works something that God can accept outside of His atonement for sin. It just “caaaan’t” be as the hillbilly’s put it!

  • kenneth

    Weighing in on a subject that is rounded by the question of the philosophy of religion I must say there is nothing new here. I suppose even Judaism in the form of the Pharsees were for progressive religion. a way to obtain salvation for onesself and if as diligent as one can be for relatives and friends alike.

    It just cannot be such as so many religions have thought, that is that man can obtain through works something that God can accept outside of His atonement for sin. It just “caaaan’t” be as the hillbilly’s put it!

  • Julian

    Oh great, there’s ANOTHER Stone out there making films?

  • Julian

    Oh great, there’s ANOTHER Stone out there making films?


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