The following is a brief excerpt from a speech given by Dr. Terry Nichols at the University of St. Thomas on March 3, 2014. Dr. Nichols is co-director of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center and has been a quiet giant in the community supporting dialogue and understanding between Muslims and Christians. For more information on Dr. Nichols or the Dialogue Center, click here. To read the full speech, click here.
Good Evening! My lecture tonight concerns the hope of Muslim Christian dialogue, and perhaps the best place to start is to clarify what we mean by Muslim Christian dialogue. In fact, there are several forms of dialogue. The document Dialogue and Proclamation, issued by The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 1991, lists four types of dialogue. They describe these as follows:
“The dialogue of life, where people strive to live in an open and neighborly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations. The dialogue of action, in which Christians and others collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people. The dialogue of theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values. The dialogue of religious experience, where persons rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.”