Christopher Hitchens: Religion and Culture Debate - Bible, Muslim, Christian, Jewish (2007)

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Published on Dec 1, 2017
The history of interfaith dialogue is as ancient as the religions since men and women when not at war with their neighbours have always made an effort to understand them. More Hitchens: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=9de5b8bd99d0bfdc5d7eb213f59d377a&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=books&keywords=hitchens

Not least because understanding is a strategy for defence, but also because for as long as there is dialogue wars are delayed. History records many examples of interfaith initiatives and dialogue throughout the ages.

Interfaith dialogue and action have taken place for many centuries. The Emperor Akbar the Great, for example, encouraged tolerance in Mughal India, a diverse nation with people of various faith backgrounds, including Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Christianity.[6] Religious pluralism can also be observed in other historical contexts, including Muslim Spain. Zarmanochegas (Zarmarus) (Ζαρμανοχηγὰς) was a monk of the Sramana tradition (possibly, but not necessarily a Buddhist) from India who journeyed to Antioch and Athens while Augustus (died 14 CE) was ruling the Roman Emprire.[7] [8]
The Ottoman Turks' administration of the Balkans from the 15th to 19th centuries provides another historical example of generally peaceful coexistence between peoples of different faiths, including Sufi and non-Sufi Muslims, Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews. The tolerant context of this period contrasts dramatically with the ethnic strife and atrocities in the region during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.[citation needed]
There have been several meetings referred to as a Parliament of the World's Religions, most notably the World's Parliament of Religions of 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. The event was celebrated by another conference on its centenary in 1993. This led to a new series of conferences under the official title "Parliament of the World's Religions".
Early 20th Century - dialogue started to take place between the Abrahamic faiths - Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Bahá'í.
The 1960s - The interfaith movement gathered interest.[citation needed]
1965 - The Roman Catholic Church issued the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, instituting major policy changes in the Catholic Church's policy towards non-Christian religions.
In the late 1960s interfaith groups such as the Clergy And Laity Concerned (CALC) joined around Civil Rights issues for African-Americans and later were often vocal in their opposition to the Vietnam War.[9]
September 11, 2001 - After September 11, under the leadership of James Parks Morton, Dean Emeritus of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Interfaith Center of New York's mission became increasingly centered on providing assistance to immigrant and disenfranchised communities whose religious leaders were often the only source of knowledge for new immigrants about coping with a new life in an urban environment like New York City. New programs were launched that responded to the needs of these constituents, combining practical information about establishing civic connections and information about other religions with insight about common social concerns. New programs included Religious Communities and the Courts System (2003), Teacher Education in American Religious Diversity (2003), Mediation for Religious Leaders (2005), and Religious Diversity Training for Social Workers (2005).[citation needed]
On October 13, 2007 Muslims expanded their message. In A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals unanimously came together for the first time since the days of the Prophet[s] to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam.
In 2008, through the collaboration of The Hebrew Union College, Omar Foundation, and the University of Southern California Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement was created. This inter-faith think tank began to hold religious text-study programs throughout Los Angeles and has an extensive amount of resources on its website including scholarly articles about Creationism, Abraham and Human Rights.
July 2008 - A historic interfaith dialogue conference was initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to solve world problems through concord instead of conflict. The conference was attended by religious leaders of different faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism and was hosted by King Juan Carlos of Spain in Madrid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interfaith_dialog

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