On Christmas Eve, the Boston Globe published five articles written by leading religious scholars in which they reflected on the role of interfaith dialogue. Each one brought a significant perspective on what promises and challenges interfaith dialogue presents to the world.
- Diana Eck, director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, writes about the challenge to “learn more about Islam,” inviting people to understand that Muslims have become our neighbors.
- Perhaps less optimistically, Richard John Neuhaus, conservative Catholic theologian, suggests that dialogue is the only alternative to violent conflict in the encounter with Islam.
- Reza Aslan, a Muslim, observes that for much of the Muslim world, the “interreligious dialogue” often appears more like religious coercion. Dialogue should not aim to “shed light on the ”errors and illusions” of your neighbor”s faith.”
- Alan Wolfe, Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life at Boston College suggests that the most productive interfaith dialogue happens at the grass roots. All too often, religious leaders understand their traditions differently from the “everyday” members.
- Writing from the Christian perspective, Mark Noll insists that interreligious dialogue is a necessity for Christians. Throughout history, whenever religious traditions have remained in isolation from one another, the results have been tragic.
Boston Globe Ideas Forum:
- Good neighbors (By Diana L. Eck)
- Faith and reason (By Richard John Neuhaus)
- Truth and power (By Reza Aslan)
- Face to face (By Alan Wolfe)
- A Christian imperative (By Mark A. Noll)