This is the address which Donald Reeves gave at the 2010 Doha Interfaith Dialogue.
“Dialogue does not just happen. It is an art to be learnt: skills in listening and facilitating.”
The paper, entitled Religious Upbringing And Contemporary Challenges In A Globalised Era describes the need to develop the essential practice of ‘solidarity’ in response to the persecution of religious minorities; it highlights the difficulties religious leaders experience in responding to internal conflicts.
‘Dialogue’ has lost its currency through overuse, so I describe it as a special kind of conversation. All are invited to participate – those for whom absolute certainty is a prerequisite as well as those, in the West, who have trouble working out their faith in a secular world.
The crisis of religious authority, the way sacred texts are read, the recovery of the Imagination, a consideration of the problem around ‘segregation and integration’ are described.
This paper outlines the huge task of challenging the idolatry of management-speak and the market which has trespassed on the territory of religion.
The paper ends with a call for opportunities for newcomers to inter-religious dialogue to learn the skills and art of dialogues.