Four Levels of Interreligious Dialogue
- The dialogue of llfe, where people strive to live in an open and neighborly spirit, sharing their joy and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations.
- The dialogue of action, in which persons of all religions collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people.
- The dialogue of theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other's spiritual values.
- The dialogue of religious experience, where persons, rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.
(M. Thomas Thangaraj, The Common Task: A Theology of Christian Mission, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1999, pp. 95, 96.)
Five Types of Interreligious Dialogue
Informational: Acquiring of knowledge of the faith partner's religious history, founding, basic beliefs, scriptures, etc.
Confessional: Allowing the faith partners to speak for and define themselves in terms of what it means to live as an adherent.
Experiential: Dialogue with faith partners from within the partner's tradition, worship and ritual – entering into the feelings of one's partner and permitting that person's symbols and stories to guide.
Relational: Develop friendships with individual persons beyond the "business" of dialogue.
Practical: Collaborate to promote peace and justice.
Assisi Decalogue for Peace
During the interfaith prayer service at Assisi, ten of the 200 faith representatives each read one of the following ten commitments in their own language. In March, Pope John Paul II sent a copy of the Decalogue for Peace to all heads of state. In an accompanying letter, the Pope stated that the participants at the Assisi gathering were inspired more than ever by one common conviction — humanity must choose between love and hatred.
- We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are opposed to all true religious spirit and we condemn all recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion. We undertake to do everything possible to eradicate the causes of terrorism.
- We commit ourselves to educate people about respect and mutual esteem in order to achieve peaceful coexistence and solidarity among members of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.
- We commit ourselves to promote the culture of dialogue so that understanding and trust may develop among individuals and peoples as these are the conditions of authentic peace.
- We commit ourselves to defend the right of all human beings to lead a dignified life, in accordance with their cultural identity.
- We commit ourselves to engage in dialogue with sincerity and patience, without considering what separates us as an insurmountable wall, on the contrary, recognizing that facing our differences can become an occasion for greater reciprocal understanding.
- We commit ourselves to pardon each other's errors and prejudices of the past and present, and to support one another in the common struggle against egoism and abuses, hatred and violence, and in order to learn from the past that peace without justice is not true peace.
- We commit ourselves to stand at the side of those who suffer poverty and abandonment, speaking out for those who have no voice and taking concrete action to overcome such situations, in the conviction that no one can be happy alone.
- We commit ourselves to make our own the cry of those who do not surrender to violence and evil, and we wish to contribute with all our strength to give a real hope of justice and peace to the humanity of our time.
- We commit ourselves to encourage all initiatives that promote friendship between peoples, in the conviction that, if a solid understanding between peoples is lacking, technological progress exposes the world to increasing dangers of destruction and death.
- We commit ourselves to ask the leaders of nations to make every possible effort so as to build, at both national and international levels, a world of solidarity and peace founded on justice.