Journal article Open Access

THE SIGNIFICANCE AND FUTURE OF INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Dr. Tabassum Sheikh

In speaking about the future of the dialogue, we have to first ascertain whether the
dialogue has any future, as it seems to be called into question by some.
To a certain extent it can be said that dialogue is today at the crossroads and in that sense
it rises, that is at a turning point. This is because interreligious dialogue has moved from the
phase of Euphoria and joy of interreligious discoveries to meetings and seminars and now to a
stage hereby we are taking stock of these dialogues. Most people involved in dialogue are well
aware that in the face of the manifold problems that call for balanced responses, meeting only to
discuss and share though not without value, is not enough. Further, there is the feeling that the
theological thought-pattern and categories that we have inherited are not adequate enough to give
expression to the experiences, discoveries and insights gained through dialogue. Thus we may
say that dialogue is at crossroads. To remain where we are, doing only what we have been doing
so far promises no significant future for dialogue. At the same time to launch out into jointaction
for integral liberation and search for new theological categories is, to say the least, not
easy, though same are already engaged in it. The crisis in which dialogue finds itself is analogous
to the crisis of growth, faced by those in their adolescence. It is to be taken seriously, but not to
be regretted, as it is full of promise. Dialogue has a future, but only if we are willing to move on.
That hatred, violence and conflicts do not restrain us from having a dialogue.

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