Reasoning together

What makes for genuine dialogue?
Now that the dust has settled from l’affaire Regensburg, it’s a good time to think about what makes for genuine interfaith dialogue. One thing is clear: the reactions to Pope Benedict XVI’s address, as reported by the media, allowed little scope for dialogue. People took sides with tedious predictability. Self-righteousness, bad manners and exploitation of irrational resentments were for too many the order of the day. With interfaith relations so bedeviled, one imagines the devil clapping his hands with glee over the opportunities to manipulate our fears and pervert our ideals. One longs for the real, earnest conversation that Jews, Christians and Muslims of intelligence and good will would wish to see prosper and the Father of Lies would wish to see fail.


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