Here is the English abstract of Arash Abaie (Researcher in Judaism, Member of Iranian Jewish Committee in Tehran, Iran) presentation at the 5nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in Yazd University, Iran on November 8, 2023.
The Terms of Interreligious Dialogue
An effective interfaith dialogue should be able to liberate societies from the tensions that have been created between the followers of different religions due to ignorance and false enmity. Such a dialogue takes place under certain conditions; conditions that arise from scientific and ethical considerations. In this article, some of these conditions are discussed. First, having mutual understanding and a sympathetic view is important. This means that the parties involved, at least during the dialogue or while studying the religion of another, should free themselves from their prejudices and not look at the religion of another with their own religious values and standards, and try to have an emic approach to the other’s religion. Second, respect for the beliefs and the sacred of the other’s religion is the lowest level of etiquette in an interfaith dialogue. The third condition for such a dialogue is to pay attention to the requirements of time and place; in this sense, we should keep in mind that the values and teachings of a religion, some are absolute, and some are subject to time and place. In other words, it is possible that due to a specific event and at a specific time, differences have arisen between some religious communities, as a result of which some texts have been written and decisions have been made. But maybe at the present time, neither those enmities nor those decisions are relevant anymore. The fourth consideration that should be taken into account is that in interfaith dialogues, attention should be paid to authentic religious sources so that rumors and weak materials do not prevent the dialogue from achieving its goal. The fifth condition for the realization of an effective interfaith dialogue is the alignment of the sources or the alignment of the experts present in the dialogue. The last case of the dialogue conditions discussed in this article is paying attention to the final goal of these dialogues. The main purpose of these dialogues is to bring the religions closer to each other. The realization of such a dialogue can pave the way for reaching constructive interpretations of religions instead of tension-generating interpretations, and in this way, we can achieve the goal of interfaith dialogue.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi