“From the cowardice that dare not face new truth,
From the laziness that is contented with half truth,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord deliver me.”
—a Kenyan prayer, from “The Catholic Prayer Book”
This past weekend, I spoke via Zoom to a Lexington group called the Christian-Muslim Dialogue, which, as its name implies, is made up of Christians and Muslims who meet regularly to discuss religion and related matters.
I made a presentation to the group, and that was followed by discussion among the members and me.
I found the experience inspiring, and it reminded me why it’s important for people walking different paths to stay in touch with each other. Living in a fairly homogeneous corner of Kentucky, I don’t get to have interfaith conversations often.
In my presentation, I offered four observations about interfaith (and also interdenominational) dialogues that I think make them important.
First, if we hope to grow spiritually, it’s helpful to be able to hold more than one thought in our head at the same time. Getting to know people from other belief systems—whether we’re Muslims meeting Christians, or evangelical Protestants meeting Roman Catholics, or Mormons meeting Buddhists—introduces us to ideas, personal histories and theological traditions we might not have encountered before.