• Legitimizing and necessitating inter-faith dialogue: The dynamics of inter-faith for individual faith communities

      Greggs, Tom; University of Chester (Brill, 2010)
      In an age in which religion is a burning issue in the geo-political sphere, the need for peoples of different religions to engage in inter-faith dialogue may seem clear; what is less clear is whether there is legitimacy for and imperative to members of individual faith communities to engage with the religious other on the exclusive grounds of their individual faith. This article thus seeks to advocate that theology done in the service of individual faiths needs as a priority to engage in legitimizing and necessitating dialogue with the religious other as the religious other. The article considers the grounds on which exclusivist religious people can undertake inter-faith dialogue. Looking to the need to attend to particularity and the genuine otherness of the religious other, the article advocates that faiths should begin to understand what it is internal to their traditions that makes inter-faith dialogue a necessity for intense and particular religious self-identity. Members of faith communities need to be legitimated on terms internal to their community and by leaders of their community to engage in dialogue with the other: they need to know not only how to engage with the other but also why to engage with the other. Considering the particular tradition of Christianity, the article attends to these themes by seeking hints from scripture and Christ regarding why a Christian should engage with the religious other in order to be more intensely Christian.