Catholics and Other Religions: Bridging the Gap between Dialogue and Theology

Knitter, Paul

This is what I want to deal with in the following reflections: the tension, or the contradiction, between what Father Gonzalo discovered through his dialogue with Maha Ghosananda (and others of the Peace Council) and what he had learned in his catechism and theology classes. On the one hand, his practice of interreligious dialogue told him that Maha Ghosananda was spiritually okay the way he was; on the other, the theology he had learned in the seminary assured him that Maha was saved through Jesus and could find his true religious fulfillment only in the Christian Church. This is what I mean by the subtitle of this essay: there's a gap (to put it mildly) for many Catholics between their practice of dialogue and their understanding of theology. As a Gonzalo uncomfortably sensed, the gap needs to be bridged.


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Louvain Studies

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Union Theological Seminary
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April 11, 2012