Interreligious dialogue: Moving between compartmentalization and complexity
AbstractInterreligious dialogues as organized activities establish religious difference among its participants as a premise. This article discusses how various ways of signifying religious difference in interreligious dialogues can impact culturally by looking at the dynamics between the dialogues’ ‘insides’ and ‘outsides’, especially regarding the ways in which differences are conceptualized. The current criticism of interreligious dialogue and the current perspectives on the dialogues’ alleged effects on conceptualizing differences are examined in the examples presented in this article. Finally, two models of interreligious dialogue are suggested. First, a model where religious differences are apprehended as ‘constitutive’, and second, a model where religious differences are viewed as ‘challenge’. The first relates to a multicultural view of differences, and the second to a perspective of cultural complexity. Lastly, the two models are discussed in relation to the notion of strategic essentialism. Anne Hege Grung is a researcher at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.
Copyright (c) 2011 Anne Hege Grung
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