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The Dialogue between Science and Religion and the Dialogue between People of Different Faiths: Areopagus Revisited

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Christianity finds itself in a new situation, one that resembles its first-century experience in that it will be shaped by a new dominant world culture. This culture is marked by three factors-the economy, the multireligious situation, and science. The author's discussion deals with the issues that arise in this engagement with culture under three rubrics: dialogue between science and religion, globalization of the religious encounter, and interreligious dialogue in a globalized world. The major assertions are: (1) Science and religions must avoid restrictive and expansionist relationships and work for reciprocal interaction. (2) Globalization is an unavoidable, but ambiguous, historical development; religions should reject responses of “ethnification” and “primitivism” and rather engage in strategies that encourage both productive encounter and critical distance. (3) Interreligious dialogue includes dialogues of life, of intellectual exchange, of religious experience, of common action, and of confrontation; this dialogue will seek to embrace truth (which involves science) and wisdom (which includes the various religious traditions) in the reciprocal interaction that is marked by love.
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Keywords: dominant culture; economy; globalization; interreligious dialogue; love; reciprocal interaction; science-religion dialogue; truth; wisdom

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor and Chair in Global Christianity and Ecumenical Concerns at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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