What is interfaith activity for? Is it:
a) A process to bring better understanding between religious people and communities?
For an example of this, read the following extract from The Challenge of Grass-Roots Peace-Making in Israel/Palestine: The Example of Open House by Peter Riddell
To what degree can ‘grass-roots peace-making’ have an effect on bringing justice in power relations between nations? Many of those who are engaged at this level must have asked themselves this question as violence exploded between Palestinians and Israelis just days after this evening event. (Read more)
b) A theological exchange to determine what is shared and what is different about world religions?
For an example of this, read the following extract from From Fundamentalism to Interfaith Dialogue? By Richard Thompson
Part of the Hindu input was a salutary reminder to us about the limitation of words and concepts. We were delighted to be told a parable of an “Inter-Number Conference”…(Read more)
c) An attempt to create a new world religion?
No examples – this hasn’t succeeded yet! However, many people feel threatened by interfaith because they feel this is its agenda. This may indeed be the case for some, who see an ultimate harmony in such a unitary world religion, just as several historical traditions have, at one time or another, felt that the world would be blessed if everyone converted to that particular tradition. The overwhelming majority of those involved in interfaith activity, however, recognise the richness and blessing of religious diversity and hope to learn something more from interfaith about the Divine Reality.
d) Something else?
Issues based activity, for instance, to address poverty and development?
For an example of this, read the following extract from Values and Transformation: Changing World Economics by Kishore Shah
Andrew Rogerson, the World Bank Representative for United Kingdom and Ireland,… explained how the World Bank was trying to put new approaches into place by assisting governments in developing countries to develop their own strategies. . (Read more)
Or for inner transformation and social harmony?
For an example of this, read the following extract from On the Practice of Meditation by John Hick
I have been practising meditation, in a faltering sort of way, for some years, using the mindfulness (satipatthana) method that I learned from the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Nyanaponika Mahathera, whom I first met in his forest hermitage outside Kandy some twenty-five years ago…(Read more)