We’re for Dialogue and Engagement.Take Dialogue first. There may be as many definitions of dialogue as there are practitioners of the art, but at root, there is the assumption that no one religion possesses the fullness of religious truth. Our convictions would be precisely that, our convictions, fallible intimations of a mysterious transcendent reservoir of being and worth.
Dialogue implies that we have as far to receive as to give in the dynamic of our conversations with one another. We neither down water nor inflate what we offer in dialogue. First and foremost, we cultivate self-criticism because of the foundation of all criticism along with the beginning of respect. The distance between is a space of letting go of outmoded prejudices, of rejoicing in differences and of discovering our interdependence prior to the sacredness that resides immanently in most things.
We struggle in the making of judgments, for not everything generated by the religious imagination is conducive to individual and planetary good. Yet the struggle is also against attitudes of inherited judgementalism.What now of Engagement? The journal will reflect on practical projects, examples where faith-communities are working together in order to create a difference. What ethical values are being exploited, or even generated, when people enter relationships of trust and so aspire to a greater common good? No doubt the failure of religious communities to collaborate has contributed to the sum total of anguish and pain in the world.
Yet this history can be reversed, for the religions at their ethical best are fountains of compassion, harmony, and hope. These are basic values that await their full flowering as shared values within the interreligious movement.If the religions have been interwoven with the world’s issues, they also have intrinsic elements of the solutions. Models of good practice are increasing across the world and we trust that this journal will tempt many players to even further practical engagement.
The argument for mutuality and interaction involving varying religious voices has been largely obtained. Dialogue and Engagement have started, but we are still in the foothills of the ascent. It is our expectation that this journal will both assist in the exploration of this mountain slopes and communicate something of the miracles that will be glimpsed.
Its pages will provide opportunities for hearing varying voices — voices crossing spiritualities, spanning generations and embracing practitioners from several different contexts across the world.We’re all invited to discuss this moment of global transition.