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Talking to the Other: Jewish Interfaith Dialogue with by Jonathan Magonet

By Jonathan Magonet

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet has lengthy been engaged in a discussion among Jews and Muslims. For over 30 years he has geared up the yearly Jewish-Christian-Muslim pupil convention in Basle, and has lectured on those subject matters, and took part himself in interfaith meetings around the world. during this e-book he explores the problems that come up in such an come upon, the traps that so simply prevent relationships, and the old and theological difficulties to be faced as soon as a foundation of belief has been validated. in addition to analyzing particular components that must be addressed within the Jewish stumble upon with Christians and Muslims, he demanding situations the Jewish neighborhood to develop its dedication to interfaith discussion in a fancy and speedily altering global.

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Additional info for Talking to the Other: Jewish Interfaith Dialogue with Christians and Muslims

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Nevertheless there are enough Jews in Israel and the Diaspora with sufficient experience of interfaith dialogue to develop such positions, and the very attempts would be an important contribution to mutual understanding and respect. A first attempt from a number of Jewish scholars in America under the title ‘“Dabru Emet” (“Speak the truth”)…’, has recently appeared – see further discussion on page 132. The absence of our own contemporary theological formulation of the significance of other religions is a cogent reminder that for all the wealth THE CHALLENGE TO JUDAISM OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE — 21 of rabbinical and theological expertise we have in our Jewish seminaries and academic institutions, our concerns remain surprisingly and perhaps dangerously parochial.

He then checked off each of the three monotheistic faiths according to these criteria, and to no-one’s surprise found that his own religion recorded positively on all his criteria, while the other two were found lacking in one or more areas. It was a naive exercise, but no different from the one we actually use in our daily converse about each other – it is simply that we win out because we make our own selection of criteria without taking the trouble to understand the inner workings of the other faith we are ‘defeating’.

Moreover, where obvious sources of injustice exist, they have to be addressed if any kind of honest meeting can happen. But unless we become proactive in this manner we are doomed to be shocked time and again by situations of interracial, intercultural, interethnic or interreligious violence that suddenly overwhelm us. Tragically these are conflicts which, in retrospect, could often have been prevented if only real communication was present. We know enough about the mechanisms of conflict – we need to do more to create the ongoing programmes that help prevent it and at the same time promote the richness in personal growth and empowerment that are created by the best kinds of dialogue experience.

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