Resources: Inter-religious Dialogue

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Yogyakarta Statement-Buddhist Muslim Summit (March 4, 2015)   Religions for Peace led a high-level Summit of Buddhist and Muslim leaders in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to address extremism and advance peace with justice as inter-religious tensions continues to threaten stability in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other nations in the region. Organized by the International Forum on Buddhist Muslim Relations, the Summit brought together religious leaders from 15 countries and produced the Statement Shared Values and Commitments.

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Inge Eidsvåg, Tore Lindholm, and Barbro SveenThe Emergence of Interfaith Dialogue: The Norwegian Experience   In 1814 Norway got a short lease of national independence, as a side-effect of the Napoleonic Wars. Before being forced to form a union with Sweden Norwegians made use of the opportunity to create their own constitution which is by now the oldest constitution in Europe. It was in 1814 also the most liberal, the most egalitarian, and the most democratic constitution in all of Europe. But, with respect to liberty of conscience Norwegians did establish, we must admit, a religiously almost totalitarian state. So, independent Norway got started on a footing of candid religious intoleration. And after 1814 Norway has only slowly evolved toward a modern, multicultural, pluralist, and religiously tolerant society.

Egil Lothe:  A Buddhist on a Christian on Buddhism      This article from 2008 by BFN president Egil Lothe is a refutation of criticism of Buddhism as morally inferior compared to Christianity by an American Evangelical Christian in Mongolia. While accepting the right of others to express their convictions the author take this as an opportunity to correct misunderstandings about the Dharma.

Senaid Kobilica, Egil Lothe and Vebjørn HorsfjordWorking inter-religiously on inter-religious problems: Buddhist-Christian-Muslim delegation in Sri Lanka   Report from a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka in 2006 by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief’s project on missionary activities and human rights . The mission had the following members: Senaid Kobilica (Islamic Council of Norway), Egil Lothe (Buddhist Federation of Norway) and Vebjørn Horsfjord (Church of Norway)

Parichart SuwanbubbhaMoving Together Through Action and Dialogue   Dr. Suwanbubbha is a Buddhist who has a background in Comparative Religions. She received her Ph.D in Systematic Theology from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and her MA in religious studies from the University of Chicago. She is also a director of Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, at Mahidol University in Salaya Nakornpathom, Thailand. Suwanbubbha and her coworkers have conducted different types of dialogue for children in the detention centers and for prisoners especially prisoners of national security cases in the deep South of Thailand. They believe in the cooperation and leadership of all religious leaders to act as mediators and become role models to reconcile and build sustainable and positive peace.


Leirvik, Oddbjørn (2014): Interreligious Studies A Relational Approach to Religious Activism and the Study of Religion. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

The notion of Interreligious Studies signals a new academic perspective on the study of religion, characterized by a relational approach. Interreligious Studies defines the essential features of interreligious studies compared with alternative conceptions of religious studies and theology. The book discusses pressing and salient challenges in interreligious relations, including interreligious dialogue in practice and theory, interfaith dialogue and secularity, confrontational identity politics, faith-based diplomacy, the question of interfaith learning in school, and interreligious responses to extremism.

Interreligious Studies is a cutting-edge study from one of the most important voices in Europe in the field, Oddbjørn Leirvik, and includes case study material from his native Norway including interreligious responses to the bomb attack in Norway on 22nd July 2011, as well as examples from a number of other national and global contexts

Expanding discussions on interreligious dialogue and the relationship between religions in new and interesting ways, this book is a much-needed addition to the growing literature on interreligious studies.

Engebretson, K., de Souza, M., Durka, G., Gearon L., eds. (2010) International Handbook of Inter-religious Education. Dordrecht : Springer Netherlands.

This Handbook has the potential to redress the distortion of information about particular religions, to add to understanding about what religions have in common, and to suggest how they can work together for justice and peace. In the present day there is a vital resurgence of interest in religions, with new movements emerging from long established religious traditions. There is also, around the world, a growing sense of the need to preserve indigenous religions, even when these have accommodated to imported traditions. The Handbook gives a voice to this resurgence of interest, and addresses inter-religious education from a range of religious viewpoints and contexts. The publication is very timely especially in light of the need for religions of the world to together contemplate and actively promote human rights, social justice and peace, for religions have a specific mandate for this.

Cornille, Catherine (2013): The Wiley-Blackwell companion to inter-religious dialogue. Hobroken; Wiley.

This comprehensive volume brings together a distinguished editorial team, including some of the field’s pioneers, to explore the aims, practice, and historical context of interfaith collaboration.

  • Explores in full the background, history, objectives, and discourse between the leaders and practitioners of the world’s major religions
  • Examines relations between religions from around the world, moving well beyond the common focus on Christianity, to also cover over 12 major religions
  • Features a wealth of case studies on contemporary interreligious dialogue
  • Charts a long-term shift away from a competitive rivalry between belief systems, and a change in focus towards the more respectful, cooperative approach reflected in institutions such as the World Council of Churches

Includes up-to-date commentary on the growing dialogue of recent years, written by some of the leading figures working in the field of interfaith discourse