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Published byDonna Threadgill Modified over 8 years ago
Speaking to those who are not Christian
Lets say you meet someone (work, school, neighborhood) who is not from around here. You notice some of his habits, clothing and customs. You think some of these things are cultural, yet you also suspect that some of them are religious. Would it be rude to ask questions? Would you avoid the conversation because it might be too controversial? Why would you ask him about these practices? Thought Experiment
Reasons to ask a person about his (religious) habits, clothing and customs: Curious, interested, want to know Genuinely like the person Wondering why the person wont be more normal Think some of the practices might help you How would you approach this person? What would you say? What would be your attitude? Why? How?
You notice that a non-Christian friend or coworker is struggling with a pretty big problem (personal crisis, major illness or death of a loved one). He comes to you asking your advice. Or, out of concern, you simply ask if there is anything you can do to help. As you talk, you realize that there are some aspects of your faith that have helped you in a similar situation. Do you mention what has helped you? Why or why not? Do you offer to pray for him? Why or why not? Thought Experiment
How might a conversation with another person from a different faith help you? How might it help the other person? Would it be wrong to speak to someone if you are certain that your religion or beliefs are helpful to you, or are the right beliefs? Why or why not? Is it imposing your religion on someone else if, out of love, you want them to understand what you believe? Why or why not? Right or Wrong?
These questions, and the issues that they raise, are what lies behind interreligious dialogue. Interreligious dialogue takes place on two levels: Personal Ecclesial On the personal level, interreligious dialogue is two people (or a group of people) talking about what they believe, comparing practices, and discovering shared or differing values. Interreligious Dialogue
On the ecclesial level, interreligious dialogue is the leaders of two (or more) different religions talking about similar and disparate doctrines, moral teachings & practices. In both instances, these conversations occur because of some relationship. The purpose is not (merely) to pass time with interesting conversation. Rather, the purposes are: To learn about each other To find common ground To understand differences Interreligious Dialogue
Everyone enters into a conversation with various assumptions. Here are the Churchs assumptions during an interreligious dialogue: 1)Since there is one God, all religions came from the one God. Therefore, all religions share, to a greater or lesser degree, some commonalities. 2)The one God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 3)There is only one Truth, and it is a Person Jesus. Assumptions
4)The fullness of the Truth subsists in the Catholic Church. 5)The commonalities with other religions are seeds of the Word which reveal an incomplete or impartial understand of the Truth. 6)Whatever is true and holy and whatever reflects a ray of the Truth who enlightens all men is to be honored and respected. Assumptions
With these assumptions, the Church enters interreligious dialogue not to convert others, but a)To bear witness to the Church. Hence, it is part of the Churchs missionary effort b)To enrich our own understanding of the Truth Hence it is part of self-understanding Purpose & Goal
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