with Miroslav Volf
More than 300 people attended the second conference of the Study Centre for Faith and Society for the Renewal of Theology and Society. Its focus was on globalization and interreligious dialogue-specifically with Islam. The key speaker was Miroslav Volf, Professor of Christian Theology at Yale University and founder of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. His talks were complemented by international experts.
The phenomenon of globalization and the ensuing social changes affect all areas of life, including religion. We must respond to the resulting theological and social challenges - through dialogue.
In an increasingly globalized world, political, economic and religious tensions occurring in seemingly remote areas have an immediate effect on our lives. Religious motives justify violence and terror, causing a schism between the religious and the political. The political discourse has become dominated by demarcation and fear. Purposeful, sustainable dialogue about faith and globalization is required in a situation where reconciliation, sustainability and unity are urgently needed.
How can our testimony for the absolute truth of the Christian faith be squared with political pluralism? What challenges do the various religions face in a globalized world? In a world of violence how is it possible to further processes of reconciliation across religious and political boundaries? Can theological insights be employed to foster peace, or will they serve only to reinforce conflict-harboring demarcations? These were the kinds of questions addressed during the Conference. Miroslav Volf’s morning lectures were followed by breakout-sessions on globalization, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation. The days were concluded with a time of discussion in which questions and comments could be addressed to Professor Volf. The first day was rounded off with a interdenominational worship service in Fribourg’s Nikolaus Cathedral.
An exerpt from an interview with Miroslav Volf:
“Central insights from a theology of embrace are in many ways applicable to interreligious dialogue. The core idea is to foster strong identities with porous boundaries.”