Interfaith dialogue in global perspective and the necessity of youth involvement

Abstract

In today’s global landscape, the success of interfaith initiatives is ascertained when their intended aim is envisioned and clarified. This article claims that the truest aim of interfaith dialogue in global perspective is the mutual transformation of cultural and religious realities, maintaining that when this vision becomes the underpinning informing the context of dialogue then interfaith engagement is elevated to an authentic spiritual practice effective across religious borders, assuring its destination in the advancement of intercultural relations and culture in general. Today, interfaith dialogue ought to focus more on common responses to global issues rather than differences among traditions; unimpeded, it can then engage mutual transformation for the benefit of all, achieving also significant steps toward transforming stultifying paradigms of present interreligious discourse. Positive change forwarding harmonious coexistence is an ongoing process involving the work of many generations. Steadfast youth involvement in interfaith dialogue is deemed imperative for sustainable harmony and peace.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Here, the term divine bespeaks ultimate or transcendent mystery. In her introduction to In Search of the Divine, Shinn (1987) articulates the unexpected consequences of interfaith dialogue by showing how scholars from diverse faiths (Saivite, Vaisnava, Jain and Islamic, Christian, Jewish-Kabbalist, Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan Buddhist) experience their traditions in search of divine mystery. Interestingly, Keating (1989:21) says: “those who seek the ultimate mystery relate to everything that is true and of genuine spiritual value in every religious and cultural tradition” including “science, art, human friendship, or the service of others”.

  2. 2.

    I distinctively remember how participants of the Second Asia–Europe Youth Interfaith Dialogue were spontaneously moved to share for more than an hour the practice of laughing yoga.

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Correspondence to Pavlos E. Michaelides.

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Michaelides, P.E. Interfaith dialogue in global perspective and the necessity of youth involvement. Asia Eur J 7, 449 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10308-009-0240-4

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Keywords

  • Spiritual Practice
  • Mutual Transformation
  • Religious Language
  • World Peace
  • Radical Alterity