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Edited by Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen and W. Stoker

Christianity exists in relation to and interacts with its cultural environment in a number of ways. In this volume authors from a wide variety of backgrounds explore various facets of the relationship and interaction of Christianity with its cultural environment: politics, society, esthetics, religion and spirituality, and with itself. Divided into three main sections, Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture looks at the interaction of Christianity with culture in the first section, with other religions and spiritualities in the second, and finally with itself in the third. The contributions engage in a critical examination of not only the culture in which Christianity finds itself but also in a critical examination of Christianity itself and its interaction with that culture.
The editors hope that teachers, students, and readers in general will profit greatly from the critical articles contained in this book.

Roots and Routes

Identity Construction and the Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue

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Rachel Reedijk

Dialogue participants demonstrate strong motivations for contributing to interreligious dialogue, based on a firm belief that encountering the other generates understanding – the contact thesis. Interreligious dialogue meets with both suspicion and cynicism: the former because it may result in loss of identity, and the latter because important issues may be ignored. The hitherto unanswered question is how Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue affects the identities of its participants.
In this study Rachel Reedijk analyses identity construction in an interreligious context against the backdrop of the dominant either/or discourse regarding religious diversity – and, for that matter, multiculturalism – in Western society. The conceptual framework of this study is constituted by the debate on essentialism and constructivism in the social sciences. She argues that, under the right circumstances, interreligious dialogue can move beyond polemics and apologetics and prepare the ground for understanding in the dual sense of prejudice reduction and interreligious hermeneutics.