Empirical research on the practice of interreligious dialogue delivers inspiring results for a practical-theological reflection. The contribution thus discusses the question of what theological and social science research can learn from each other. The author presents four exemplary theses on the Catholic understanding of the nature, aims and methods of interreligious dialogue, and puts them into a mutual dialogue with the empirical results of this study. The results demonstrate that interreligious dialogue only exists within different social and political contexts that should be recognised theologically as “incarnated” forms of dialogue. The diverse social and political functions of interreligious dialogue can be interpreted as dimensions of the evangelizing mission of the Church. In turn, social science research on interreligious dialogue should take “inside” dimensions into academic consideration such as aspects of theological self-understanding, the question of truth or the missionary dimension of interreligious dialogue.