Topic 2 Interfaith dialogue

Interreligious dialogue is best defined as intentional encounter and interaction among members of different religions as members of different religions. There is quite a variety of types of interreligious dialogue, with no overall agreement about what these types are: official or institutional dialogue between or among elites chosen by their religions as official representatives, parliamentary-style dialogue, verbal dialogue, intervisitation, spiritual dialogue, practical dialogue, and internal dialogue’. (King, 2011)

Interfaith dialogue brings people of different religious faiths together for conversations. Those conversations can take place at various social levels, mainly grassroots. (United nations Institute for Peace,


1. Consider the power of the word ‘intentional’ in the definition above. Do you believe that an official/institutional or spiritual dialogue can be more effective among religious communities? Justify your answer.

2. In  the previous section, the importance of the community engagement in interfaith dialogue was outlined. In which ways does the community involvement in interfaith encounters affect protection and security in places of worship?  Provide a list.

European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL)

This is a European platform initiated in 2002 in Oslo and aiming to incite ‘actions to promote peaceful and fruitful coexistence for people inside and outside borders’ as part of the coalition ‘Religions for Peace’ (Academy for Cultural Diplomacy, n.d.). The ECRL ‘brings together senior religious leaders from Europe’s historical religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam together with Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Zoroastrians’ (European Council of Religious Leaders, ECRL website). One of the key points of its establishment is to enhance, not only dialogue, but also action initiatives, in order to prevent conflict and violent threats (Academy for Cultural Diplomacy, n.d.); as a result, it promotes, among others, security and protection at places of worship.

An associated initiative in Europe is the ‘RfP – European Inter-Religious Youth Network (EIYN)’ founded in 2006 which  brings ‘together youth organizations and young individuals from all religions present in Europe(European Council of Religious Leaders, n.d.).


1. Please watch the video below and note the five stages of interfaith dialogue mentioned by the speakers

Do you believe that these stages are applicable in the case of your society/culture/faith?   Why or why not?