Openness, commitment, and confidence in interreligious dialogue: a cultural analysis of a Western debate

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In Western theological reflection, the relationship between openness and commitment in interreligious dialogue is often construed as a relationship between two ends of a seesaw or two arms of a balance; raising one end lowers the other, and one cannot therefore be simultaneously fullycommitted and open. In critical conversation with the work of Catherine Cornille and Marianne Moyaert, this paper argues that this perspective is related to a specific understanding of the “subject position” of the religious subject in late-modernity which is characterized by the subject–object divide. This divide characterizes many modern and postmodern epistemologies of religion, so that both commitment and openness are primarily rooted in the capacities of the religious subject. However, the Christian faith understands faith as a response to the divine initiative of God in Christ, and therefore understands commitment as grounded in confidence in this decisive divine salvific event. From this standpoint, both full confidence and openness are reconcilable and can even strengthen each other rather than being considered incompatible and in competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-452
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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