The Sermon on the Mount for Interreligious Dialogue

Hindu/Christian philosopher and theologian Raimon Panikkar is the author of Intra-Religious Dialogue (Paulist Press, 1999). The following reflection was published in the Bulletin of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue in 1986.

When you enter into an intrareligious dialogue, do not think beforehand what you have to believe.

When you witness to your faith, do not defend yourself or your vested interests, sacred as they may appear to you. Do like the birds in the skies: they sing and fly and do not defend their music or their beauty.

When you dialogue with somebody, look at your partner as a revelatory experience as you would- and should- look at the lilies in the fields.

When you engage in intrareligious dialogue, try first to remove the beam in your own eye before removing the speck in the eye of your neighbor.

Blessed are you when you do not feel self-sufficient while being in dialogue.

Blessed are you when you trust the other because you trust in Me.

Blessed are you when you face misunderstandings from your own community or others for the sake of your fidelity to Truth.

Blessed are you when you do not give up your convictions, and yet you do not set them up as absolute norms.

Woe unto you, you theologians and academicians, when you dismiss what others say because you find it embarrassing or not sufficiently learned.

Woe unto you, you practitioners of religions, when you do not listen to the cries of the little ones.

Woe unto you, you religious authorities, because you prevent change and (re)conversion.

Woe unto you, you religious people, because you monopolize religion and stifle the Spirit which blows where and how she wills.

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2 Responses to The Sermon on the Mount for Interreligious Dialogue

  1. Anne Russell says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article and will be purchasing the book today. I have a national conference happening on the 24th to the 27th June in the Wollongong Diocese and theme will be ‘On Common Ground – Opening doors of understanding’. The purpose of the national conference is for all Catholic Religious Education Resource Centres to come to together once a year and share and explore our centre doings including sharing ideas and resources that benifit us all in our mission.
    I would like to seek permission to use the above reflection by Raimon Panikkar in our Opening Liturgy, as we reflect on our conference theme and the dialogue to follow in the days to come.

    Anne Russell
    Catholic Education Office
    Resource Centre Manager

  2. revdak says:

    You would need to get permission from the original publishers, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (http://monasticdialog.com/a.php?id=702). Your conference sounds like a great opportunity.

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