Here is the English abstract of Dr. Arash Abaie's (Researcher in Judaism, Member of Iranian Jewish Committee in Tehran, Iran) presentation at the 4nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamedan, Iran on October 30, 2023.
Effects of Interfaith Dialogue on Societies
Interfaith dialogue is not merely a symbolic gathering or a kind of oratory; rather, its complete meaning lies in collaborations, coexistence, and interactions among different religions. Such a dialogue can have positive and impactful outcomes for societies, and this essay will highlight some of these effects. The first achievement of interfaith dialogue is the attainment of awareness about one another. In such a dialogue, imaginary hostilities tend to dissipate. Access to authentic religious sources is the second result gained through such dialogues, preventing from misinterpretations of another's religion. The third outcome is the creation of a space for tolerance, which can strengthen commonalities and, more importantly, foster an understanding of differences and their acknowledgment. The fourth effectiveness of this approach is laying the groundwork for constructive interpretations of religious texts. This can even lead to a deeper faith in one's own religion, as individuals gain insights into their beliefs when confronted with teachings from other religions. Therefore, the fifth impact of this dialogue is the deepening of the internal religious perspective of the followers of a religion. The sixth achievement is finding common solutions and shared experiences, especially in theology, rulings, and emerging issues. This positive function can assist individuals in navigating contemporary religious life. The seventh positive impact that interfaith dialogue can have is the enhancement of social capital. By realizing the real meaning of dialogue, religious minorities can step out of isolation and engage in social participation.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi