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A Dialogical Church: Newly Born and Still Growing

Knitter, Paul

As I look back over the past quarter century, since the birthing of Horizons, I witness, from my personal theological perch, the concomitant birthing of what we might call a "dialogical church." Since the theological watershed of Vatican IPs Nostra Aetate, there has begun in the church, especially the Roman Catholic Church, a sea-change in its relationships with other religions. In this "Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions," a Christian church did something that no Christian church had ever done before in its two-millennia journey through history: it affirmed the divinely given truth and value of other religions and then called upon its sons and daughters, "prudently and lovingly" to engage in "dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions." This shift (some might call it an about-face) in Christian attitudes gave birth to a new kind of church—a church that gradually has come to understand itself as a religious community in conversation with other religious communities.

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Horizons

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Union Theological Seminary
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April 18, 2012