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Religion, Power, Dialogue

Knitter, Paul

In addressing the topic assigned to me -- "Interreligious Dialogue, the Environment, and Power" -- I have decided to focus on the first and the last elements: Dialogue and Power. More precisely, I would like to reflect on how the question of "power" can serve as the mediating link between religion and dialogue. Many people, especially academicians, would regard such a proposal with great suspicion, if not downright opposition. For them, the vital relationship between religion and power is the problem. Precisely because religion is such a powerful force in the lives of people, precisely because the powerful can make such exploitative and violent use of religion -- precisely for such reasons many voices today are calling for a moratorium on interreligious dialogue; or they are calling for the exclusion of religion from all political or intercultural discussions. I want to take these reservations or objections as seriously as I can. I begin, therefore with some questions.

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Swedish Missiological Themes

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Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
April 12, 2012
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