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Learnings for the Future of Inter-Faith Dialogue

Part II: Insights evoked by intractable international differences (Part #1)

Published in Transnational Associations, 1994, 1, pp. 15-22 [PDF version] (with Part I in 1993, 6, pp. 345-354)

A. Scope of 'faith'
Exploring the future of 'inter-faith dialogue
Attitudes towards dialogue
Models of dialogue
Levels of dialogue
Mapping the inter-faith space
Levels of dialogue
Levels as traps: beyond linearity
Mapping forms and opportunities for dialogue
Dialogue as flow and transition
Towards higher orders of consensus: freeing the voices
No doubt? No dialogue!

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A. Scope of 'faith'

Although Part I of this article, focused on the Parliament of the World's Religions (Chicago, 1993) as a major inter-faith event, 'faith' can usefully be understood in a broader sense than in relation to religion. Dialogue is a challenge in many arenas where the entrenched 'beliefs', 'faiths' or 'religions' may correspond to political or ideological factions, philosophies, management styles, cultural biases, or even aesthetic preferences. During the Global Forum, on the occasion of the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), this challenge was explored in an Inter-Sectoral Dialogue bringing together sectors such as science, religion, labour, industry, environment, and the like (1). Representatives of particular sectors may hold to their ideological faith as strongly as adherents of a particular religion. Dialogue in an inter-religious context may therefore have learnings for other arenas, as is true of the reverse. The point is best reinforced by Kinhide Mushakoji's study of Global Issues and Interparadigmatic Dialogue; essays on multipolar politics (2).

y of Global Issues and Interparadigmatic Dialogue; essays on multipolar politics (2).