Interreligious Dialogue as a Spiritual Practice

Interreligious dialogue was not a twentieth century development in the history of relations between Christians and Muslims. There are numerous examples when Christians and Muslims joined in public dialogues, some of which are rather famous episodes in the annals of dialogue. There are these famous examples; yet, countless theologians, scholars, and religious and political leaders have met in public conversation and have communicated by letter and in private conversation down through the centuries.[1] If one considers the most common form of interreligious dialogue, namely, the dialogue of life, when believers have lived as neighbors and associates, the instances would be too numerous to count. Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in relationships of dialogue for centuries and in numerous cultural settings. Pope John Paul II spoke eloquently of the dialogue of life on his historic visit to the Umayyad Great Mosque of Damascus on May 6, 2001:

by Dr. Ali Ünsal