Changing the Present, Dreaming the Future: A Critical Moment in Interreligious Dialogue

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Hans Ucko, Charlotte Venema, Ariane Hentsch
World Council of Churches, 2006 - Religion - 153 pages
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For over 30 years the World Council of Churches has been involved in interreligious dialogue. In the last decades, there has been an increasing interest in dialogue due to the unexpected return of religion as a reality to reckon with in society and political life. In an unprecedented way in recent years and in numerous parts of the world, many societies are marked by tension and conflict between and within religious communities, yet, where mechanisms for dialogue and encounter exist, there is a greater possibility of fostering deeper knowledge and awareness among people of different religions. Good neighbourliness grows and thrives where there is mutual acceptance and mutual respect. The WCC affirms the importance of interreligious relations and dialogue today as a core issue for its work. Harvesting experiences in dialogue suggests that we are at a critical moment -- thus in June 2005, the World Council of Churches organized the 'Critical Moment in Interreligious Relations and Dialogue' conference, facilitating reflection on future orientations in interreligious dialogue. The aim of this book is to share the highlights of the Critical Moment conference and to give food for thought and action to all involved in interfaith dialogue and cooperation. It presents the plenary speeches and a compilation of the working group reports, as well as a summary of the answers from participants to a survey made before the conference. To make the material more alive and useful for those not at the conference, the book includes a study guide, meant for practical use in the local community. It links to issues raised at the conference, and gives background information, thoughts for reflection and questions to work on. Although intended for those who already have some interfaith experience, this book can also be useful to people who are new to the field. It gives insight into current issues and dilemmas and suggestions for further reflection.

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Contents

Preface
4
Group reports
74
What happened after the conference?
92
To begin with
101
Spirituality
115
Religion and conflict
130
Otherness
143
Copyright

About the author (2006)

Reverend Dr Hans Ucko is from Sweden and serves since 1989 as the Programme Executive in the Office on Interreligious Relations and Dialogue of the WCC. He is the editor of the biannual WCC publication Current Dialogue and has written extensively on Jewish-Christian and interreligious dialogue.

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