As Tensions Mount, Avoiding a Clash of Religions

Pope Francis reminds us that Christians are not engaged in a war with Islam but with extremism.
What on earth is happening to us? Optimism isn’t an easy position to embrace these days. Much of our world is currently more broken, more ill-at-ease than ever before. Not only have we in Europe increasingly experienced the sorts of murderous atrocities that people elsewhere have had to live with, and die with, for years; but our public life, both in Britain and the United States, is turning ever more sour, vicious and confrontational.

Dialogue is a sign of weakness to some. The online world leads us back to our encampments, comfortably in conversation with only those of like mind, reinforcing and confirming the views that we already held. We visit the websites or, for those who still read them, subscribe only to those newspapers or magazines that mirror our own opinions and attitudes. And when attitudes become hardened they convert to prejudices, difficult or downright impossible to challenge in any creative manner, still less with generosity.



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