Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP, directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. I found his comments so practically useful and, in some cases, so directly relevant to LCWR and the bishops that they warrant a blog post reporting them alone.
Again, I’m just sharing quick notes because that’s all life allows right now – but I hope you find as much food for reflection here as I have. What do you see that fits whatever form of dialogue you’re seeking at this moment in life?
Forms of inter-religious dialogue
- Dialogue of life
Can engage in all areas - ecology, art, economy....
- Dialogue of action
- Dialogue of theological exchange
Searching for common ground and ultimate truths.
- Dialogue of religious experience
Sharing common quests, e.g., experiences of monastic life or mysticism.
Goals of inter-religious dialogue between people of faith
- Mutual enrichment
Examine our own identity more deeply.
Bear witness to revelation as each has received it.
In attitude of obedience to truth and respect for freedom (“Truth is not a thing we possess, but a person.”).
Self-awareness is formed in inter-religious dialogue.
- Help people to live together in peace and harmony
Dialogue is not an ambulance service but a preventive public health program.
Attempting to promote dialogue immediately after a disaster is very
Need prior building of community with conversation; that creates
foundation to deal with crises in harmony.
- Collaboration in service
Word and witness go together.
- Joint promotion of moral values
Dialogue recognizes God’s presence active in the other.