Why interfaith dialogue?

Thomas

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Hi all —

Just listened to an interesting podcast entitled 'Why Interfaith dialogue' on Australia's ABC 'God Forbid' radio strand.

The two guests on the show are Rami Silvan, a Hindu cleric, and Dr Justine Toh, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity, professor of cultural studies at Macquarie University.

Rami Silvan's comment on most interfaith dialogue in his experience is 'inspide and feckless,' and when pushed went on to describe 'an exercise in PC tea-drinking, koala-hugging, photo opportunity'.

On this issue he and Dr Toh were in complete and emphatic agreement: All religions are absolutely not the same, differing markedly in their eschatology and ethics, and furthermore that religions are not 'different paths to the same destination'.

Their critique extended to the Australian (and indeed First World) view of religious tolerance. We live alongside each other, we eat each other's food, we all celebrate Christmas together, but only in the school concert, exchanging presents, eating and drinking, etc., not in the belief in the Nativity. It's not interfaith, its benign indifference.

Where they did agree, and the only value they saw in interfaith dialogue, is to examine how religions might rub shoulders and get along together.

Rami Silvan posed what was for him a central question: 'What does my religion say about how I should deal with others not of my faith?'

Food for thought ...
 

Thomas

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Generally smite them, as ordered?
Is it? Not in mine ... some religions, maybe.
That to me is why interfaith dialogue...
For me it's the dialogue of comparative religion, without leaping to the wrong assumptions.

And then presenting my religion as reasonable, rational, logical, etc., dealing with wikinonsense, correcting errors, challenging pejorative opinions, etc., etc.
 

wil

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Generally smite them, as ordered?
Is it? Not in mine ... some religions, maybe.
OT... Deuteronomy 13:12–16 “If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword...
NT... Matthew 10:34–37 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

and exactly why I don't read it literally...(amongst a thousand other passages)
 

Thomas

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OT... Deuteronomy 13:12–16 “If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword...
NT... Matthew 10:34–37 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

and exactly why I don't read it literally...(amongst a thousand other passages)
Yep, that's why traditional commentary is so-o-o-o important.
 

A Cup Of Tea

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For me, it's important to counter tribalism. When Jehovah's Witnesses showed up at my door I felt fear and suspicion. Those feelings are not acceptable to me, if I was going to avoid a group like that it was important that I knew enough about them to know what I actually disliked. There are some Witnesses I really care about today, even though some aspects of their religion makes me uncomfortable. And that's ok with me.
 

Thomas

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For me, it's important to counter tribalism.
One of the 'major movers' in culture, isn't it?

It seems to me tribalism makes an appearance when social cohesion comes under pressure. White working class America is experiencing significant social pressures at the moment, and that's playing into the religious debate, as the most part of the white Evangelical community voted for Trump (Black and Hispanic evangelicals voted Clinton) it would seem (example here).

A Pew Survey threw up a significant figure for me, that white Catholics buck the trend as far as other religious groups are concerned, voting along with the Evangelicals, a 'told you so' moment for Wil – credit where it's due, bro' – and something of a shock for yours truly.

The same indicators are at play in the New Atheist movement I've been tracking in the Gray thread. Apart for lambasting religion generally as being the cause of all the world's ills, 9/11 and radical Islam peppers the rhetoric of their argument.

The psychic shock of 9/11 is out of proportion to the death-toll in a country where, according to the NYTimes, more than 10 times that number die every year in firearms-related incidents, and 60% of those being suicides.

Of course, the shock was an outrage 'on our soil' which America has rarely seen. I dare say Pearl Harbor was another, but Hawaii is not the US mainland. Also the attack was against a major symbol of the very fabric of US society and not a military target.

It's no consolation to say mainland Europe, the theatre of two world wars in recent history, has more resilience to this kind of thing.
 

wil

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I require no told you so.... and Hawaii was not even a state during Pearl Harbor...just a bunch of Islands with a bunch of inconsequential natives that we had occupied...and moved our entire pacific fleet to in the months prior...

And yes, after 9/11 our vengeful nature made us send twice as many soldiers to die in two ridiculous wars...and thru that created and grew both Al Queda and ISIL...spending trillions to do it. And yes, since then the number one terrorist in the US is the White Man with a gun...but we will continue to rally against immigrants, blacks, hispanics, our native peoples and Muslims because we have to blame somebody for our ills..

And yes, the wars were over there....and now we are still fighting the Nazi's and White Supremacists here...and they elected what can only be deemed a sinful President in literal biblical....while literally beating the bible.
 

wil

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If only the repercussions of our audacity did not ring around the world!

This is why we must interfaith dialogue... Because our elected leaders don't
 

AHMED171

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Generally smite them, as ordered?

and then love them?


That to me is why interfaith dialogue...
Bro wil I answered some of your questions that you asked in my thread you didn't reply afterwards .for whatever reasons my thread has been moved to Islam thread ,mind giving it a read and replying.waiting....(thread two religions one god)
 
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