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interfaith friendship

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

The following is a chapter from MacKeen’s book recounting how she finally meets the descendants of Sheikh Hammud al-Aekleh, whose family welcomed in her grandfather, saving his life. Some members of the family that greeted her in 2007 today are Syrian refugees themselves.

Collaborating to Build Interfaith Bridges

Collaborating to Build Interfaith Bridges

by Vicki Garlock

Sometimes, a story is told more easily through art. That’s certainly the case for this Bulgarian-based interfaith and cultural exchange camp – the brainchild of Angelina Vladikova and Svetlana Karadzhova…

The Knock on the Manse Door

The Knock on the Manse Door

by Rob Hankinson

I arrived at my first United Church of Canada pastoral charge (Lac La Biche, Alberta) as a freshly minted (ordained and settled) minister on August 1, 1973.

Preparing the Heart for Engagement

Preparing the Heart for Engagement

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

There is one particular passage in the Torah, in the tenth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, that both disturbs and delights me. For centuries it has provoked lively debate and wide-ranging interpretations among our sages and rabbis.

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

The following is a chapter from MacKeen’s book recounting how she finally meets the descendants of Sheikh Hammud al-Aekleh, whose family welcomed in her grandfather, saving his life. Some members of the family that greeted her in 2007 today are Syrian refugees themselves.

Interspiritual Fraternity in Mexico City

Interspiritual Fraternity in Mexico City

by Elías González

Silence. Young people sitting in a circle. Prayers. “This is how it all began, with a prayer, by the hand of God. Like a dream.” Mexico City, one of the most populated cities on the planet, has historically been a land of encounter among cultures, civilizations, and religions.

A Bold, Flagship Experiment in Living Well Together...and a query

A Bold, Flagship Experiment in Living Well Together...and a query

by Bud Heckman

Numerous efforts have been made over time to bring people of different walks of faith together and think creatively about the meaning of community and accountability. Yet few visions are as refreshingly bold as what has been happening in Omaha, Nebraska.

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

by Daniel Bellerose

Bumping down the red dirt roads in East Africa, my wife and I made our weekly voyage to the city of Iringa. Our driver was Eliah, a biologist, birder, and devout Christian with a kind smile and a wonderful mind. After four months in Tanzania, I had developed an interest in interfaith development and decided to ask him his opinion of my work.

Choosing Friendship

Choosing Friendship

by Patrick McInerney

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” These opening lines from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities could equally describe our times.

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

An Excerpt from "The Hundred-Year Walk – An Armenian Odyssey"

by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

The following is a chapter from MacKeen’s book recounting how she finally meets the descendants of Sheikh Hammud al-Aekleh, whose family welcomed in her grandfather, saving his life. Some members of the family that greeted her in 2007 today are Syrian refugees themselves.

Peacemaking with "the Other"

Peacemaking with "the Other"

by Paul Chaffee

What does living life as an ‘interfaith activist’ mean? Millions have joined the cause in recent months, so we can well ask ourselves: What do interfaith activists share in common within our own communities and in the world? A quick, simplistic answer might be that all of us are striving towards peacemaking with ‘the other.’

Pope Fancis’s New Interreligious Dialogue of Action

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and Religions for Peace, held the Vatican’s fifth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium February 12-13, 2015 at Bodh Gaya in India. Bodh Gaya is the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and was chosen for a dialogue since it has temples and monasteries from many different types of Buddhists.

C. F. Andrews: Gandhi’s Friend

Often the friendships made at a conference are remembered long after the keynote speeches are forgotten. In the ancient and mediaeval worlds, friendship was very highly valued. For Aristotle, friendship was the very fabric of a healthy society, and Cicero stressed the importance of friendship. The mediaeval monk Aelred even translated the Biblical verse “God is love” as “God is friendship.” (1 John 4: 8).

Shedding Religious Exclusivism in the College Classroom

Dakota grew up in a Baptist church in Lawn, Texas. Her first trip to India with McMurry University precipitated a crisis of faith. Though friendly, accepting, and open to others, Dakota’s religious upbringing taught her that non-Christians “go to hell.” She never questioned this teaching until she went to India. There she met, served alongside and was served by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Christians. The dissonance between the faith of her childhood and the new people she met kept her awake at night talking to peers, other leaders on the trip, and me.

Spontaneous Interfaith Relationships

For decades interfaith activists have been searching for “flint” to create the positive sparks needed for interfaith engagement and collaboration. In the beginning we would look for potential partners from different religious communities, speak to them separately, and then invite them into a wider circle for dialogue. We would lay the ground work and then praise the merits of their coming together, encouraging people to find a common language, to become comfortable with one another, share information about their religious practices, and “bond.” We wanted to create a non-threatening environment which we hoped would ultimately lead to a relationship of trust and then inspire more opportunities to engage the larger community. Sometimes it would take months to create that first encounter. Sometimes that first encounter would backfire because the individuals weren’t quite ready to go beyond their comfort zone.

Pope Francis & Rabbi Skorka: Forging a Deeper Relationship

There may come a moment in long-standing interfaith friendships when individuals deeply devoted to their religious traditions notice how the differences that separate them from their dialogue partner begin to recede or even dissolve. While recognizing that philosophical and religious differences still exist, they begin to experience a form of familiarity and kinship that supersedes religion, dogma, tradition, and history.

Raised in India, Living in America

While growing up as a kid in northern India in the early 1980s, I fondly remember one of my best friends in high school, Sher Ali Khan. He was a devout Muslim.

Building Jewish-Muslim Friendship One Woman at a Time

Five years ago, Atiya Aftab, a Muslim woman, and I, a Jewish woman, invited a group of 12 women – six Muslim women and six Jewish women – to meet together once a month. Other Muslim and Jewish women heard about our effort and asked to join our group and/or help them start their own group in another geographic area. In response to these requests, Atiya and I formed a national non-profit organization at the end of 2013 – the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS).

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Jerusalem

Thanksgiving comes to Jerusalem, and I am beside myself with preparations for the feast. Onions sizzle, garlic roasts, chickens brine, and cranberries boil. The windows steam with contented warmth, and aromas crowd around the doorframes. A pan sizzles with crisping chicken skin, a soup bubbles slowly as vegetables melt into the broth. I am in heaven.

The Joy of Interfaith Friendship

Friendship is becoming a subject of theological discussion, although the actual experience of friendship – or fellowship, which was the chosen term of Francis Younghusband, the founder of the World Congress of Faiths – is far more important. Reflection on friendship may help us see how we can both be true to our own faith identity and have a deep relationship with people of another faith.