This blog is indirectly influenced by Morehead’s Musings. I don’t read it but I know it’s there. I actually checked into it yesterday and discovered that he had posted “The Dialogue Decalogue: Ground Rules for Interreligious Dialogue” by Leonard Swidler.
I think these should be the rules of this blog for everyone who visits.
FIRST COMMANDMENT: The primary purpose of dialogue is to change and grow in the perception and understanding of reality and then to act accordingly.
SECOND COMMANDMENT. Interreligious dialogue must be a two-sided project – within each religious community and between religious communities.
THIRD COMMANDMENT: Each participant must come to the dialogue with complete honest and sincerity.
FOURTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant must assume a similar complete honesty and sincerity in the other partners.
FIFTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant must define himself…. Conversely – the one interpreted must be able to recognize herself in the interpretation.
SIXTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant must come to the dialogue with no hard-and-fast assumptions as to where the points of disagreement are.
SEVENTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only between equals.
EIGHTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only on the basis of mutual trust.
NINTH COMMANDMENT: Persons entering into interreligious dialogue must be at least minimally self-critical of both themselves and their own religious traditions.
TENTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant eventually must attempt to experience the partner’s religion “from within.”
I just ran across your blog for the first time Tim, and while I don’t agree with everything you write, it’s quiet refreshing to see another evangelical who believes in taking a kinder approach to our LDS friends.
Along these lines, while I was at BYU I took a class from Roger Keller, an LDS convert who had once been a Presbyterian minister. He taught us some principles for interfaith dialogue (I know he was quoting someone but not sure who), and the one that weighed most heavily on my mind was, “If you’re going to compare, compare your best with their best.” It’s a principle which both sides would do better following I think.
Making interreligious dialogue perhaps more difficult than it need be, those of us interested in the religious domain tend to miss the obvious: that we share an interest in the same domain. Our intra-domain differences, I submit, are dwarfed by the distance from our planet to others…such as the planet of the stock market enthusists. For more, if you are interested, pls see my post. http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/missing-the-obvious-in-religious-discussion-something-we-have-in-common/
In the inter-religious dialogue of “the three amigos,” their respective self-criticisms is particularly important because their act of doing so implicitly challenges the typical way religion is understood (see http://deligentia.wordpress.com on this), at least in the modern context. What if the practice were to spread?
I ought have rules too. These are brilliant rules. Thanks