Friday, November 18, 2005

Thinking Together: A Cutting Edge Strategy

A cutting edge interfaith relations strategy, "Thinking Together" brings leaders and scholars of different religious traditions to theologize together. The Interfaith Relations Commission at it's meeting this September had a panel of Christian theologians reflect on the question, "Is it appropriate for Christians to theologize in the presence of and in participation with those of other religions?" And conversely, "Is there something inadequate about a Christians theologizing in the absence of those of other religions?"

At the initiative of the World Council of Churches' Office of Inter-religious relations, a group of religious leaders and scholars from several different religious traditions have met together for several years to reflect on the theologies of "The Other." The papers of this consultation will be published next year. The second cycle of the Thinking Together group now begun will examine the question of Conversion. This topic was prompted by the unexpected rise to prominence of this issue at the June "Critical Moment in Interfaith Dialogue" conference.

It is critical for Christian theology to take seriously the questions we reflected on at our Interfaith Relations Commission meeting. If we would use the paradigm of "Thinking Together" in our theologizing I believe that our theology would be tested, refined and more relevant to this pluralistic age.


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