Flashcards in Dialogue Between and Within Religious Groups Deck (14):
What is exclusivism?
- The belief that your religion is right and everybody else's is wrong and only people of your religion can go to heaven.
- In the UK, this is a minority view (particularly Jehovah's Witnesses), but worldwide, most religious people are exclusivists, especially Christians and Muslims
- There can be inter-faith exclusivism and intra-faith exclusivism, e.g. Jehovah's witnesses believe only they are going to Heaven
What is inclusivism?
- The belief that your religion is right, but all religions have something of value to say and you do not have to be a Christian to go to heaven.
- Christians believe this because God is fair: people who lived before Jesus and people who have not heard of Jesus would not be denied salvation. Also, in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus says nothing about faith being necessary for salvation.
- Pope John Paul II believed all religions with a personal God are worthy of note and we should talk to them, but they must accept Catholicism is right
What is pluralism?
- The belief that all religions are of value and any religious person can learn from another faith
- However, it does not support conversions, as that suggests you don't think your religion has value
- Proposed by Ninian Smart and John Hick, it is now a very popular view in the UK. Smart also suggested teaching more than one faith in RE
- Supported by John 14:2
What is ecumenism?
- Different Christians working together, e.g. the World Council of Churches
- Robin Gibbons is a Catholic canon in a CofE cathedral; Christ Church is the only CofE cathedral with Catholic canons
What is intra-faith communication?
- Different Christian denominations working together to achieve a common goal, e.g. the Churches Together movement
What is inter-faith dialogue?
- Dialogue between religions (inclusivism) to avoid tensions due to different beliefs and bring about peace
- Helping understand other faiths and incorporate them into communities
Why is inter-faith dialogue important today?
- A lack of understanding of other faiths can lead to prejudice, intolerance and discrimination
- This can lead to marginalisation of minorities, causing terrorism or even war
- With the many political and environmental problems facing the world today, it is important for people of different faiths to work together in order to accomplish common goals e.g. marches in favour of CND
What is the relationship between religion and national identity?
- The state of Israel is defined as a Jewish state, however this refers to the ethnicity of its inhabitants: Israel has no official religion.
- Theocracies are countries ruled by religious leaders, e.g. Iran's Supreme Leader is a Muslim cleric and Shi'a Islam is its official religion.
- Sri Lanka and Thailand consider Buddhism to be their foremost religion, though it is not their state religion.
- England is a neo-Christian country although its Christian faith is declining. Research shows that Sikhs and Muslims in Britain identify themselves with being British more strongly that white Britons do.
- France is a secular country - its inhabitants have to put French values before their own religions. This means, e.g. not being able to display religious symbols.
What is proselytisation?
Trying to convert others to your faith
Why is proselytisation important to Christians?
- Jesus's last recorded words in the Bible are:
'Go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptise them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do.'
- Christians who proselytise are called Evangelists
- Exclusivists are more likely to be Evangelists, as they feel strongly that people need to be Christian to reach salvation
- Proselytisation is controversial because some people may feel uncomfortable or threatened by having someone else try to convert them
How has lack of inter-faith dialogue affected people in the UK?
- In November 2015, the Islamic Human Rights Commission found that half of Muslims in the UK have experienced or witnessed violent attacks and many report job discrimination
- In December 2015, the Department of Communities and Local Government of Britain released a report saying there has been a 25% increase in anti-Jewish incidents on social media
How does the Roman Catholic Church contribute to inter-faith dialogue?
- It has promoted inter-faith dialogue since the Second Vatican Council. In order to achieve this, they set up the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID).
- The PCID's aims are: to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics and the followers of other religious traditions; to encourage the study of religions; to promote the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue.
- They achieve these aims by welcoming visitors from other faiths, visiting others, organising meetings, and publishing articles about inter-faith dialogue
- Pope Francis has said that "Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world".
How does the Church of England contribute to inter-faith dialogue?
- It runs a Presence and Engagement programme to engage with people from different faiths
- It follows four principles of inter-faith dialogue set up by the British Council of Churches:
1) Dialogue begins when people meet each other.
2) Dialogue depends upon mutual understanding and mutual trust.
3) Dialogue makes it possible to share in service to the community.
4) Dialogue becomes the medium of authentic witness (telling others about the Christian faith).