↑ Return to Interfaith In Action

Dialogue Decalogue

Alexis DeJesus 1st place-Division 4: Grade 9 to Grade 12 Chapin High School

Alexis DeJesus
1st place-Division 4: Grade 9 to Grade 12
Chapin High School

Summary of Swidler’s recommendations for successful interfaith dialog:

  1. The primary purpose of dialogue is to learn, that is, to change and grow in the perception and understanding of reality, and then to act accordingly.
  2. Interreligious, interideological dialogue must be a two-sided project— within each religious or ideological community and between religious or ideological communities.
  3. Each participant must come to the dialogue with complete honesty and sincerity. Conversely—each participant must assume a similar complete honesty and sincerity in the other partners.
  4. In interreligious, interideological dialogue we must not compare our ideals with our partner’s practice.
  5. Each participant must define himself. Only the Jew, for example, can define what it means to be a Jew. Conversely—the one interpreted must be able to recognize herself in the interpretation.
  6. Each participant must come to the dialogue with no hard-and-fast assumptions as to where the points of disagreement are.
  7. Dialogue can take place only between equals. Both must come to learn from each other.
  8. Dialogue can take place only on the basis of mutual trust.
  9. Persons entering into interreligious, interideological dialogue must be at least minimally self-critical of both themselves and their own religious or ideological traditions.
  10. Each participant eventually must attempt to experience the partner’s religion or ideology “from within.”

Excerpted from Ground Rules for Interreligious, Interideological Dialogue by Leonard Swidler [found in Heckman, 2008, emphasis added.]