Interreligious dialogue is a very positive idea in many different religions. It grants us the ability to communicate with those of different religions in a respectful, considerate way. People of different cultures coming together to discuss their beliefs is truly beneficial for every religious being.
John Paul II opens number fifty-five of his encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio concerning the relationship between interreligious dialogue and The mission of the Church in these words: "inter-religious dialogue is a Part of the Church’s evangelizing mission. Understood as a method and means Of mutual knowledge and enrichment, dialogue is not in opposition to the mission ad gentes; indeed, it has special links with that mission and is one of its expressions." What is emphasized here is that interreligious dialogue is not the whole of the Church’s mission itself. Being part of mission, it is always linked with proclamation. This is the reason why dialogue is not opposed with mission ad gentes. One cannot reduce the mission of the local church into mere dialogue as it encounters the various followers of world religions. Although dialogue is understood as the meeting and encounter of two persons or groups of different religious heritage, aiming at enriching, deepening and broadening spiritual life and experiences by means of mutual understanding of each other’s faith, dialogue is not understood by the Church as the entire mission of the Church but part of its evangelizing mission. Dialogue serves as a means or method when the encounter takes place.
Even though there have always been ways for Christians to communicate with those of other religions, the Second Vatican Council has been an important point of transition in the way interreligious dialogue occurs in the catholic church. It brought about a renewal in the outlook of the Church towards other religions. The traditional view of Christians was that only those who believed in... [continues]
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