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Communication by parable

Envisioning the Dynamics of a World Parliament of Religions (Part #4)

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One of the principal features of religious discourse is the extensive use made of stories, parables and metaphors. The use of metaphor in religious discourse has been extensively studied. One of the merits of this form of discourse is to articulate subtle insights in a form which can be readily interpreted across many common barriers to communication.

Whilst much good work may be undertaken to clarify doctrinal differences using the technical language of theologians and scholars, this work will continue at its own pace. Such technical issues require their own context which is not that of plenary gatherings such as a Parliament -- whether or not they are dealt with in its "parliamentary committees".

It may be asked whether there is not merit in developing a style of metaphoric discourse for use in the plenary gatherings of the Parliament. This would take advantage of the unique communications skills of those whose lives are committed to religious discourse in one form or another.