The Necessities and Limitations of Inter-Religious Dialogue

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Inter-religious dialogue has been conceived as an antidote to all the problems of religious tensions, attracting resources and expectations.1 However, it has come short of these expectations. In fact, religious tensions are on the increase, despite increased inter-religious encounters.2 Hence, the research question: what exactly are our expectations of inter-religious dialogue and what are its limits? This work distilled out in two areas the necessities and limitations of inter-religious dialogue: liberalism in religion, and concatenation or practicalisation of inter-religious dialogue. It argues for caution on issues of religious truth, relativistic pluralism, equality / sameness of religions, etc. Inter-religious dialogue would perhaps have more success if not for the problems of inner strife and contradictions of theological perspectives. It proffered a solution in the ‘model of mutual enrichment’. This model checks our expectations of interreligious dialogue.

The Necessities and Limitations of Inter-Religious Dialogue

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On 10 December 1948the un proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Religion was made a fundamental human right. Article 18. says: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private to manifest his religion or belief in teaching practice worship and observance. The articles 19 and 20 were about freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in connection and sustenance of Article 18. Retrieved from the website of the United Nations accessed 4 January 2017.


Peter Phan‘Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue at Vatican II’Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education: The Living Spirit of Vatican II 42/5 (2012) 5.


Phan‘Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue at Vatican II’5.


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