PRINCIPLES for Interfaith Dialogue

The JCMA is about meeting people of our own religion and others. We hope to understand other faiths (and our own) more deeply by starting to discover what they mean to other people who live them. We wish to develop an awareness of what is true, good and beautiful in faiths other than our own, thereby overcoming the religious discrimination and intolerance that exists within our society.

The JCMA endeavors to provide a forum for discussion based on the following principles:

AIMS for Interfaith Dialogue

The Constitution of JCMA states that the principal purposes for which the Association is established are:

(a)        To promote the prevention or the control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings, arising from religious intolerance resulting in emotional, psychological, verbal and physical abuse.

(b)        To draw together members of the Abrahamic faiths in mutual respect, seeking to appreciate each other and to heal ancient wounds, pledging mutual support in times of stress and engaging in dialogue in all its aspects;

To achieve these principal purposes, the Association, among other things, organises conferences and other activities for the purpose of learning about each other’s faith, of sharing personal experience, and of discussing issues of concern within their own faith communities and within the broader society

JCMA engages in Interfaith Dialogue in order to:

  • provide participants with opportunities to interact with one another
  • ensure a climate of respect and empathy with each other
  • endeavour to hear and understand each other
  • build personal relationships and develop friendships
  • discover and recognise similarities as well as differences
  • start or enhance an ongoing process of discovery
  • better understand our own strengths and weaknesses
  • provide opportunities for engagement in the Holy Texts of each faith group
  • develop shared knowledge and experience among JCMA members

EMPHASIS when JCMA engages in Interfaith Dialogue

  • A JCMA interfaith dialogue event is about meeting people of our own religion and others.
  • We hope to understand other faiths (and our own) more deeply by starting to discover what they mean to other people who live them.
  • We wish to develop an awareness of what is true and good and beautiful in faiths other than our own.

GUIDELINES for JCMA Interfaith Dialogue:

  • No one will seek to convert any other participant
  • We seek to explain and demonstrate what we hold deeply and in reverence
  • We speak  of and through our own experience and understanding
  • When generalisations are unavoidable, we seek to be honest and as accurate as possible
  • We speak of our own faith, leaving others to speak of theirs
  • We respond rather than react when we are disturbed by something we hear or read
  • We encourage questions which aim to learn more about the faith of others
  • We give each member faith group equal opportunity and exposure
  • We try to make sure that any terminology used is clearly understood

 

Picture top RHS: Esalen Center for Theory & Research