Interfaith Engagement Beyond the Divide showcases interfaith dialogue and collaborative research and praxis between authors of different faiths. Thhis book explores future prospects of interfaith collaborations and effective solutions to contemporary global problems. It features inspirational, aspirational, and propositional reflections from diverse religious traditions.
This book features reflections by scholars and practitioners from diverse religious traditions. It posits that the global challenges facing humanity today can only be mastered if humans from diverse faith traditions can meaningfully collaborate in support of human rights, reconciliation, sustainability, justice, and peace. Seeking to redress common distortions of religious mis- and dis-information, the book aims to construct interreligious common ground ‘beyond the divide’.
Organised into three main sections, the book features sixteen conceptual, empirical, and practice-informed chapters that explore spirituality across faiths and cultures. Chapter 1 delineates the state of the art in relation to interfaith engagement, Chapters 2–8 advance theoretical research, Chapters 9–12 discuss empirical perspectives, and Chapters 13–16 showcase field projects and recount stories and lived experiences.
Comprising works by scholars, professionals, and practitioners from around the globe, Interfaith Engagement Beyond the Divide: Approaches, Experiences, and Practices is an interdisciplinary publication on interreligious thought and engagement:
- Assembles a curated collection of chapters from numerous countries and diverse religious traditions;
- Addresses interfaith scholarship and praxis from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives;
- Comprises interfaith dialogue and collaborative research involving authors of different faiths;
- Envisions prospects for peace, interreligious harmony in diversity, and a world that may be equitably and enduringly shared.
The appraisal of present and future challenges and opportunities, framed within a context of public policy and praxis, makes this interdisciplinary publication a useful tool for teaching, research, and policy development.
Chapter 16 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com
One contributor asks,
Can societies operate cohesively when people have different faiths? Historically, it has often been held that having the same faith means having the same values and that is necessary for cohesive societies. Further, religious people may well find it difficult to accept people of other faiths, particularly if they hold their own faith with a high level of certainty and with a high level of commitment. However, the American sociologist, Gordon Allport has argued that when people work cooperatively on common goals in a context where they have equal status and are support by the society or authorities, they can develop positive attitudes. The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (2018) shows that, among Australians, religious people were generally more positive than non-religious people. However, a general openness to trusting others was the strongest positive factor in positive attitudes to people of other religions. Other results in the survey suggested that greater contact with people of different faiths could also contribute to stronger positive regard. These results have implications for interfaith networks. Bringing people together to work cooperatively on common goals in a context where there is equality may well enhance positive attitudes. Actively encouraging people to trust each other in such contexts may contribute to social cohesion in multi-faith societies.