The Interfaith Book Club of the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland, Massachusetts, sponsored a book reflection on Dr. Cragid Considiine’s book, The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View. Rev. Dr. Ian Mevorach of Common Street Spiritual Center, Natick, and Fr. Carl Chudy, D. Min. of the Metrowest Interfaith Community of Holliston, offered their perspectives as we learn to build bridges in our communities. Shaheen Akhtar, coordinator of the book club, moderated the event. It was held on Saturday, November 11th, from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.
The Journal of Social Encounters published Fr. Carl Chudy’s comparative study on the description of Mary in the Gospels and the Qur’an that “opens us up to the profound mystery of God that transcends the boundaries of both of our faiths…” Access the Journal here.
Although Vatican II opened a new door for the Catholic Church to our relationship with other faiths, it did not yet go as far as to say that interreligious dialogue is part of the evangelizing mission of the church. This came through the Pontificate of John Paul II through three subsequent documents: Dialogue and Mission (1984), the mission encyclical Mission of the Redeemer (1990), and Dialogue and Proclamation (1991). These teachings reflect the growing awareness of the centrality of interfaith dialogue in the very mission of the church. For Pope John Paul II, dialogue is fundamental for the Church, based on the very life of the Triune God, as well as on respect and love for every human person: “As far as the local churches are concerned, they must commit themselves in this direction, helping all the faithful to respect and to esteem the values, traditions, and convictions of other believers.”
This dialogue is not a mere discussion about each other’s beliefs. For the church there are several ways this dialogue can play out.
The first is the dialogue of life where believers of different religions bear witness before each other in daily life to their own human and spiritual values, and help each other to live according to those values in order to build a more just and fraternal society.
The second is the dialogue of works and action where collaboration with other faiths is opportune in the social, economic and political to build a more humane society.
The third is the dialogue of theological exchange and often involves specialists and leaders in different faith traditions in search for ultimate truth.
Finally the dialogue of religious experience is an opportunity to share prayer and religious experiences in our common search for the Absolute.
The Teaching of the Catholic Church on Interfaith Dialogue
The Metrowest Interfaith Dialogue Project brings multifaith neighbors together from our community in Holliston, Massachusetts. Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
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